Gateshead boss Neil Aspin admitted Eastleigh’s FA Cup success may have an impact on Saturday’s encounter at the International Stadium.
The Spitfires enter the game on the back of a first round giant-killing, knocking SkyBet League One Swindon Town out of the the FA Cup.
Only a point separate both teams going into the weekend clash and the Gateshead boss admits the timing is less then favourable.
“Were probably playing Eastleigh at the wrong time in terms of the fact that they have had there best result of the season on Tuesday night” said Aspin.
“I’ve seen Eastleigh play a couple of times so it’s no surprise how they play.
“They may have surprised some people with the result but they are a good team and they are capable of doing that.
“Some sides have got one player thats outstanding, they are much more of a team.
“They have goal threat, a centre forward who’s scored a few goals but the main part of the team is that they are a physically strong.
“They’ve got a lot of height in the team a lot of experience.
“So although we need to respect the opposition and be prepared, we need to focus on what we need to do ourselves.”
Ninth placed Eastleigh have lost only twice on there travels in all competitions so far this season and will be looking to Saturdays fixture as an opportunity to cement themselves in the race for promotion.
Nevertheless, the Heed are in spectacular form themselves, unbeaten in their last seven league games, a run which included a 5-0 thrashing of promotion chasing Dagenham and Redbridge.
The win at Victoria Road was the surprise of the round and propelled the Tynesiders to within three points from the play-off places.
“It was an excellent performance” said Aspin.
“Its very difficult to win any game away from home and to win in this league 5-0 doesn’t happen very often.
“It was a really good performance and a really good day.
“But we need to make sure that we’re ready for Saturdays game.”
The Heed boss, however, will be wary of post-success complacency.
August’s thrashing of promotion favourites York City was followed by a dismal away defeat to Bromley and boss Aspin is understandably cautious of any slip ups.
“When we play well we’re as good as anybody in the league” said Aspin.
“But when we play bad we’re as bad as anyone in the league, so we need to be more consistent.
“We know that when we’ve dropped our standards and a lot of the players haven’t played as well as they can, then it isn’t good enough at this level.
“We have to make sure that our team is prepared in what we want to do.”
Article: James Bell (@jamescb90)
Image: Gateshead FC