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Steve Watson wants Gateshead to be in the hat for the last-four of the FA Trophy after Saturday's tie at Leyton Orient

PUBLISHED: 11:00 22 February 2018

Ex-Premier League footballer Steve Watson is the manager of Gateshead (pic: David Davies/PA Images).

Ex-Premier League footballer Steve Watson is the manager of Gateshead (pic: David Davies/PA Images).

PA Archive/PA Images

The two National League clubs go into the contest at Brisbane Road on Saturday in decent form after enjoying strong starts to 2018

Steve Watson wants Gateshead to progress into the semi-finals of the FA Trophy by any means possible ahead of this weekend’s clash at National League rivals Leyton Orient.

The Heed make the long trip to London for what is their fourth consecutive match on the road in all competitions.

A close encounter between Gateshead and O’s, who are separated by just two points in the league, is expected and if the tie ends level after 90 minutes, a replay is due to take place next week at the International Stadium.

Both clubs will be full of confidence too after Orient defeated Chester 1-0 on Tuesday while the Heed fought back from a goal down to draw 1-1 at Barrow despite being down to 10-men.

“We want to be in the next round whether that means doing it on Saturday or whether that means taking them back to our place on Tuesday,” Watson told the official club website.

“Either way we want to be in the hat and the lads can take a lot of positives out of the second half against Barrow.”

After playing only four times in December, Gateshead have made the most of all of their games since the turn of the year.

Watson’s men lost just once in January (2-0 at home to Sutton United), winning against Boreham Wood, Chester and Maidstone United and drawing with Hartlepool United, Wood, Woking and Wrexham.

This month has seen more good form with wins achieved over Maidstone and Guiseley and only two narrow defeats to play-off chasing sides in AFC Fylde and Boreham Wood.

Heed’s second-half performance at Barrow earlier this week also had their boss purring and a similar display at Brisbane Road will see them qualify for the last-four according to the former Newcastle United midfielder.

“With everything we have had to overcome, I’m absolutely delighted to get a point. It is a well-earned point, a deserved point and we actually had chances to win it at the end,” said Watson.

“Danny Johnson had a very good chance, Jordan Preston’s goal was very well taken and we sort of played better football with 10-men.

“Again the message is take all of the positives out of the second half because the energy levels were fantastic against Barrow’s 11-men and now take it into Saturday.

“We can get into the FA Trophy semi-final if we perform like we did in the second half for 90 minutes.”

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