Cuggy looks ahead to the Gateshead FA Cup tie

Gateshead Football Club are in a highly respectable 6th place in the Blue Square premier division and a full time professional outfit. Blyth Spartans lie rock bottom of the Blue Square north – a division below.

On the face of it Blyth stand very little chance of progressing the next round of the FA Cup after Saturday’s 1st Round fixture.

However, this is the FA Cup and this Blyth Spartans. Mix the two together, add a fervent Croft Park crowd and strange things can happen.

Certainly Blyth manger Steve Cuggy is not daunted.
“There are always upsets in the Cup, just look at the history of this club,” he said. “The Cup brings the best out of Blyth and the supporters.”

He is, nevertheless, not taking the fans for granted.
“I wouldn’t expect them to back us if we just went out there and strolled around, not getting tackles in. Why should they? It’s up to us to get them going by showing that we’re up for it.”

“Gateshead are a professional outfit and clearly a good side but we’re not scared of them. They have lots of good players but equally they have lots no better than my lads. We will give them respect but not too much,” he added. “We can’t wait to get the game played. We have nothing to lose so we will be under no pressure.”

Cuggy believes his strikers can give the Tynesiders some problems. “Jamie Mole has made a huge impression in his first three games for us and Graeme Armstrong is returning to full fitness plus we have Richard Offiong and Glen Taylor too. We may play three up front to get at Gateshead. What we need to do is stay in the game as long as possible and possibly come good later on. I don’t believe our fitness will be found wanting.”

The Spartans will be without their two regular central defenders for the game – Wayne Buchanan and Carl Jones through suspension and injury respectively. Surely a massive blow?
Cuggy is not unduly concerned: “New loan signing Greg Pearson from Huddersfield Town did well at the weekend against Colwyn Bay as did Dan Groves who we switched from right back. They are both very mobile and should do well.”

The Blyth boss has watched Gateshead recently and has had them watched in the previous round of the cup and in their game at the weekend. He has pinpointed three sources of danger for his side: “We will have to be aware of their set pieces and the crossing ability of Chris Moore and Michael Brittain.”

Cuggy is going to enjoy the next week leading up to the game: “It’s why we are in football. I don’t know but I just have a good feeling about the tie. I’ve had it ever since the draw was made!”

Blyth supporters will be hoping, hope against hope, that his prescience comes good.

Posted by BSAFC Media Team