LONG and widely known for an approach which placates football’s purists, Ian Bogie suspects it is time Gateshead got down and dirty.
Time they added grit to their guile.
The Tynesiders are eighth in Blue Square Bet Premier, three points off a play-off place. They have got there in style, playing an attractive, attacking brand of football.
They are, it should be said, no soft touch, no lightweight pushovers.
However, as the season enters its ‘squeaky bum’ stage, Bogie believes more of the determined effort which saw them navigate past Alfreton Town into the FA Trophy quarter-finals on Tuesday may be required.
His side face a “tough, dangerous” trip today to Forest Green Rovers, mid-table but, he predicts, is capable of a late surge for the play-offs.
Gateshead travelled yesterday and trained at nearby Hartpury.
After a combination of skill and sweat on Tuesday saw them to a Trophy last-eight tie at Luton Town, Bogie is appealing for his players to give him more of the same.
He said: “It is a tough game for us going down there.
“Forest Green are a good side and just recently beat Wrexham on their home patch.
“They were one of the fancied sides, they have invested heavily in their squad this season and they are sitting in a decent position.
“They have been threatened with relegation over the last few years but this season that is not the case.
“They are one of the teams who will be hopeful of making a late surge to get into the play-offs. It is a dangerous game for us on a good playing surface down there. We have to make sure we are prepared properly, as we always are, and we back that up.
“We produced a gritty display the other day, and we will need the same sort of grit and determination allied with a bit of quality.
“Hopefully, we can go down there and get a positive result.”
They may have to do so with Yemi Odubade – their only fit and recognised senior striker.
Liam Hatch (calf) and Nathan Fisher (groin) are both ruled out, while 30-goal Jon Shaw (groin) is a doubt.
As such, Bogie has tried to sign an unnamed free agent on an initial one-month contract.