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Ex-Newcastle legend Steve Watson wants Gateshead players to succceed where he failed

Gateshead boss Steve Watson.
Gateshead boss Steve Watson.

Steve Watson has challenged his Gateshead side to write themselves into the club’s history books this weekend.

The Heed will be looking to overturn a 3-2 deficit in their FA Trophy semi-final second leg against National League rivals Bromley this weekend.

If they can do that they will reach Wembley for only the second time in the club’s history.

The game also gives Watson a chance to mark his first season in management with a day out of the home of English football and the opportunity to land a major non-league honour – having failed to win silverware during his top-flight career with Newcastle, Everton and Aston Villa.

Now he wants his Gateshead players to relish the occasion and ensure that they are spoken about as club heroes for years to come.

“It will only be special if we get to Wembley” said the Heed boss.

“As I said after the Wrexham game in the quarter-final, nobody remembers the semi-finalists in any competition.

“That is what I am trying to get across to the lads, we need to make sure this side is remembered for years to come. We need to embrace it.

“It is a big deal for this club and it’s our version of the FA Cup. Players that have great careers sometimes don’t get a chance to play at a Wembley final.

“From my point of view, people say I had a relatively successful playing career but when I look back there are no medals to show.

“It would be fantastic for these players, for myself, for the fans, but there is a lot of work ahead of us.

It’s been an eventful run to the last four for Watson and his side. They have faced fellow National League sides in all four rounds and have required either extra-time or a replay each time, including coming back from 3-0 down against Leyton Orient.

Watson admitted that his side make life hard for themselves but stressed that he will be working hard to eradicate that problem.

He added: “We are in the position we are in the league for a reason and it’s because we can’t dominate games for 90 minutes.

“Opposition sides always have spells against us and we give them a chance.

“We need to make it easy for ourselves and learn to manage those spells more effectively.

“But I have to say I will never be happy until we are winning every game. There are always improvements to be made and I will keep working with the players and coaches to help this side keep progressing.”