Heed Are Heading In The Right Direction Ahead Of TV Test

Show of hands. Who had Gateshead down as their tip to struggle this season?

You can admit it, you certainly won’t be alone. They probably thought the same themselves, a long hard nine months ahead after a summer of struggle and hard decisions off the pitch.

Goodbye full-time football, hello young local hungry players. A positive step some may say, but in the blood and thunder of the unforgiving National League this new approach represented risky business.

But if you do a quick study of the table heading into match day ten, you would be better starting from the top and working your way down.

There is no Gateshead in the early season bottom four as some suggested there would be. They’re not even in the bottom half.

In fact if the Heed win at Ebbsfleet United in the live tea time BT Sport fixture on Saturday, they should find themselves in a play-off position.

One of those local boys snapped up this summer was Greg Olley. The former Hull City midfielder, 22, says if you’re good enough you are old enough and the club are so far reaping the reward.

“Personally I’m really enjoying every minute of it and relishing the challenge of playing against some very good teams and players,” he told us.

“With every game I’m learning a great deal and standing me in good stead for the rest of the season. As a team we couldn’t have got off to a better start winning the first three games and I think up to now we’ve outdone the expectations that a lot of people had about such a young side.

“But we need to continue picking up points and a win on Saturday will put us in a good position after ten games.”

Manager Steve Watson must take a chunk of the credit, sticking by the club when things were started to get tricky.

He not only got on with the job, but he engaged the area. The close season kerfuffle already seems a distant memory.

“He’s been great for the club!” Olley adds. “He held it together over the summer after it looked very bleak but he’s come back in and brought together a squad with a mix of youth and experience.

“The manager is allowing all of us to go out and express ourselves on the pitch and show what we are capable of and that’s exactly what the younger ones of the group need and I think that’s showing on the pitch.

“He’s instilling us with a positive attitude and we don’t fear any team no matter how big of a reputation.”

Where next?

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