IAN Bogie has handed his Gateshead stars a two-pronged incentive to end the season in style.
The Tynesiders have failed to win in their last two games, a draw against Rushden & Diamonds and defeat at Hayes & Yeading on Tuesday.
But Bogie wants his players to end the campaign strongly, and target a top 10 finish.
They currently stand 13th in the table, two points behind 13th-placed Grimsby Town with three games to play – starting with today’s visit of a top-four Wrexham side determined to avenge February’s astonishing 7-2 defeat at the Racecourse Ground.
And the Gateshead manager believes a positive final flourish to the campaign can help attract better players to the International Stadium in the summer, and reward supporters for their backing this year.
“It’s important that we finish the season strongly, for a number of reasons,” Bogie (pictured above) said.
“If we can finish as a top 10 side it’ll give us a better chance of attracting players in the summer.
“We harbour aspirations of attracting good players, and if they look at our league position and see that Gateshead look a good side, looking to push on for next season, that’ll help us.
“It’s great for the supporters as well after the way last season ended, staying in the league on the last day.”
Then the Tynesiders stayed up by the skin of their teeth, beating AFC Wimbledon on the final day of the season to survive on goal difference.
This term has been a more comfortable affair, and Bogie believes the progress being made is there for all to see.
“From that to being a top 10 side this season will be a great achievement for us,” he said.
“Expectations when the club was promoted from Conference North was that we’d be a real threat again.
“Realistically this league is a very, very tough league with a lot of ex-professional, Football League clubs.
“Making progress is the most important thing. We’ve made massive improvements and progress from last season, that’s very evident.
“We got very close to an FA Trophy final at Wembley Stadium and the position we lie in the table at this present moment in time shows that we’ve made good progress.
“We’re really now looking to consolidate ourselves as a Conference National side.”