'It’s a massive honour and a privilege' - Ex-Newcastle United defender on Gateshead job and player development
Mike Williamson reflected on the development of his Gateshead side after they romped to an impressive home win against Southport.
A hat-trick from on-loan Fleetwood Town striker Ged Garner and an Alex Nicholson penalty laid the foundations for a 4-1 at the International Stadium as the Heed moved to within one point and two places of the National League North play-off positions.
But the meeting with Southport also offered the former Newcastle United defender an opportunity to assess the first 16 months of his managerial career.
The Sandgrounders provided the opposition for Williamson’s first game in the dugout as the two sides battled to a goalless draw on the opening day of last season.
Since then, the Heed have reached the first round of last season’s FA Cup and missed out on promotion after they suffered play-off semi-final heartache at Boston United.
After an inconsistent start to the current campaign, they have been signs that Williamson’s side are starting to find form ahead of Tuesday night’s home game against league leaders Gloucester City.
Williamson revealed that he is still relishing the challenge of guiding the club in one of non-league’s most challenging divisions and described the role as ‘an honour and a privilege’.
He told The Echo: “I am still enjoying the challenge, every bit of it, even the lows.
“There were always highs and lows as a player, you just have to deal with that side of the game.
“It’s no different as a manager, you just have to enjoy the highs and learn from the lows.
“It’s a massive honour and a privilege to be manager of this club and that hasn’t changed from day one.
“Our style is drastically different to how it was back when we played Southport last season.
“We are constantly developing; we are narrowing in on what we want and the patterns in how we want to play.
“You are always learning as a manager, and the more I am in management, the one I want to keep learning.
“I want us to keep playing through the thirds and develop the style that we have put in place.”
Former Leeds United academy goalkeeper Harrison Male will retain his place in the Gateshead side for the game against Gloucester after Williamson confirmed that James Montgomery could be out for ‘a few weeks’ with the injury he suffered in training last week.