Ex-Newcastle United and Sunderland youngsters win praise for Gateshead impact
Gateshead player-manager Mike Williamson has praised former Newcastle United under-23s captain Owen Bailey and ex-Sunderland youngster Ryan Wombwell for the impact they have made since they joined the National League North club.
Bailey left Magpies after spending the last 12 years with his boyhood club and agreed to move across the Tyne to join the Heed in the final week of pre-season.
He has gone on to feature in all three of their league fixtures so far and impressed with a hardworking display in the heart of midfield in Monday’s home win against Guiseley.
Sunderland academy product Wombwell was handed a professional debut and rewarded Williamson with an energetic performance at right wing-back.
The Heed manager gave his backing to the young duo and believes both players can have big roles to play during the season.
He told the Echo: “Owen has been injured for a long time and he is still working on his fitness - but he was different class during the game.
“He’s a great character and he’s a real warrior.
“We are delighted to have him here and he can be a real asset for us.
“Ryan has come in, he’s young, he has a lot to learn, but he’s got great potential.
“In difficult circumstances, he came into the game and did very well.
“Towards the end of the game, he started to tire, but he’s just such an honest lad and a likeable one too.
“He was given a clap by the boys after the game for his debut and we are really pleased with him.”
A Macaulay Langstaff brace was enough to help Gateshead secure a 2-1 win against the Yorkshire outfit on Monday.
They will now head into Saturday’s trip to Southport with seven points from their opening three fixtures so far this season.
Williamson insisted his side can still improve as he reflected on a late goal at Chester that denied them from taking a perfect record into their meeting with the Sandgrounders.
“It’s an average start, I’d like to be sitting here with nine points,” he explained.
“I think we deserved that because a few refereeing decisions took hold of the game at Chester on Saturday.”