Weary Heed still hope to call the Shots
GATESHEAD play their fifth game in 11 days against promotion hopefuls Aldershot at The Rec tonight.
The Shots have three games left to attempt to claim a top-three finish and give themselves a better chance in the play-offs.
They will face a leg-weary Gateshead, who have clocked up the miles in the last week, with the trip to Hampshire over 300 miles.
Goalkeeper James Montgomery, midfield man Paddy McLaughlin and forward Jordan Burrow played every minute of all four games last week.
The trio are expected to be in the starting 11 at The Rec, and former Newcastle trainee McLaughlin is happy to take on the burden.
With fellow Irishman Neill Byrne out with an ankle injury, McLaughlin took over the captaincy in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Eastleigh.
That ended a winless run of eight games, with McLaughlin happy to clock up the minutes as he closes in on 150 games for the Heed.
He said: “You want to play all the minutes you can, I certainly do. You want to play in every game, so it’s been sound.
“It’s something I thrive on. We were good from start to finish on Saturday and fully deserved the three points.
“There are four games left and they’re coming thick and fast. We’re looking to finish the season as strong as possible and finish as high as we can.”
Those are sentiments echoed by manager Steve Watson who has young striker Macaulay Langstaff back after a loan spell at Blyth Spartans.
Central defenders Jamal Fyfield and Byrne are again doubtful with ankle injuries as Gateshead look to derail The Shots’ promotion bid.
Watson said: “Tuesday may be too early for Byrne and Fyfield, so we’ll more or less be going with what we had at the weekend.
“With the journeys we’ve got this week it was important to win on Saturday. I just hope we now play with confidence for the last two weeks.
“We want to finish on a high and see how high we can get, but we can only do as much as the body allows.
“There are a lot of tired legs, but the pitch at Aldershot is one of the best in the division and we’ll try and carry on where we left off against Eastleigh.”