SOUTH Tynesider Jamie Chandler is dreaming of an FA Cup clash with Newcastle United or Sunderland – but knows Gateshead can’t afford to take minnows Warrington Town lightly tomorrow.
Gateshead will host Warrington from noon in the second round of the competition at the International Stadium in a game that will be broadcast live on BT Sport.
The Conference outfit will be up against a side which knocked out League Two side Exeter City in the last round, so complacency should not be an issue.
Warrington, of the Northern Premier League, are the lowest-ranked team left in the cup, and a clash with professional opposition presents them with another giant-killing opportunity.
However, Chandler, from Boldon, and his Gateshead team-mates have enough incentives of their own, and he says reaching the third round would be like reaching the final for the Heed.
He said: “It’s a nice FA Cup tie, and it could be a good distraction from the league for us. It’s a great tie.
“Last year, we played against Oxford at this stage, and we were the underdogs. This time, it will be the opposite for us.
“It’s a chance to get into the third round draw with the likes of Newcastle and Sunderland, which is a great incentive.
“My dream would be to get through and then draw Newcastle or Sunderland in the third round.”
Chandler has just returned from a two month injury lay-off, and is hopeful of playing a big part tomorrow.
The prospect of a third round tie with Newcastle or Sunderland already has him licking his lips, and he says Gateshead is a joy to be part of at the moment.
He added: “To get to the third round, for a team from our level, is like getting to the final.
“I would love nothing more than to get into the third round and then draw Newcastle or Sunderland away.
“It would be fantastic for the region, and would show how far we have come as a club.
“The season before last, we were fighting against relegation from the Conference until the end.
“Now we’re in the pack to be promoted again. The club is coming on leaps and bounds, and it’s great to be a part of.”