Gateshead star paying no attention to the bookmakers ahead of Brackley Town play-off clash

Gateshead stalwart JJ O’Donnell is refusing to pay any attention to the bookmakers ahead of the National League North play-offs.
Gateshead are in play-off action this weekend.Gateshead are in play-off action this weekend.
Gateshead are in play-off action this weekend.

Mike Williamson’s side have been placed as 20/1 outsiders to come through three away games and secure an immediate return to non-league’s top tier.

Their bid to round off a first season under the ownership of a supporter-led consortium gets underway on Sunday when they travel to former FA Trophy winners Brackley Town in the eliminator round of the play-offs.

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A trip to Boston United in the semi-final is up for grabs for the winners of the game at St James Park and O’Donnell revealed that the Heed players are in confident mood ahead of a defining week.

He told The Echo: “It doesn’t really matter what the odds are or what other people thinks.

“I’m not really sure what research the bookmakers do but maybe they’ve just looked at the fact we just managed to get into the play-offs via points per game.

“We have a decent record against the other clubs in there and we were in good form before the season was ended.

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“It doesn’t really matter what other people think, we just need to focus on ourselves and get ourselves right for the game and for the play-offs in general.

“We are confident and there is a good mood around the squad at training.

“Hopefully we can make the most of the opportunity we have been given and get this club back into the National League.”

Gateshead confirmed that their latest round of weekly Covid-19 testing had produced no positive results as their play-off preparations ramped up once again.

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Williamson and assistant manager Ian Watson will oversee a full week of training ahead of next weekend’s visit to St James Park and O’Donnell believes that the duo are doing everything within their power to get the Heed players ready for the game.

He said: “We are doing all that we can to be ready, but you can’t deny that it’s a very different feel about everything.”

Gateshead received a welcome boost on Friday when the National League confirmed that midfielder Jack Hunter will be eligible after joining the club from Blyth Spartans last month.