Gary Mills insists the FA Trophy final at Wembley is a realistic target for Gateshead.
However, the Tynesiders’ manager has warned against complacency during today’s first round tie against Conference North leaders Hednesford Town at the International Stadium – where tickets are £10 for adults, £5 concessions and £2 for under-16s.
Mills led York City to Trophy success in 2012 and, asked if his new club are capable of following suit, he said: “Yeah, but I think the hardest part is always the first round.
“Hednesford are doing well, they will be coming here confident they can beat us but if we play how we can play we can beat anybody.
“People belittle the FA Trophy a bit, but it’s so important for a lot of reasons. You start to get a bit of momentum in the competition by winning each round and not only does that help you get closer to Wembley but it does help with your league form too.
“So it’s massive the players, the supporters and everybody connected with this club are on the same wavelength as me, knowing that we can get to Wembley.”
Of his Trophy final experience last year, Mills added: “It was amazing.
“Whatever people say about cup competitions, when the final is at Wembley then there’s nothing better.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have played and managed there - some players haven’t even gone to watch a game.
“So the chance for Gateshead to get there and play, to make it a special day for everybody connected with the club and put the name on the Trophy forever, it’s a fantastic opportunity.
“Now we have a Trophy game on Saturday and the FA Cup on Thursday.
“Financially, we could be earning ourselves a fair bit of money to get to January and hopefully help us push on in the league. So these are exciting times.”
Tickets for Thursday’s FA Cup first-round replay against Oxford United – priced £5 – will be on sale today.