Gateshead manager Steve Watson believes Jordan Preston can fill the boots of departed attacking midfielder Luke Hannant.

Hannant went straight into Port Vale’s side on Saturday, a 3-2 defeat at Accrington Stanley, and played 87 minutes. Preston, a summer signing from Guiseley, has been in out of the side this season and used as an impact player off the bench on numerous occasions.

The 22-year-old has pace and trickery in his locker and scored a superb goal at the Deva Stadium at the weekend, his fourth of the season.

Watson said: “Preston scored a great goal at Chester. He’s capable of that and I’ve challenged him about his consistency.

“He has looked fantastic coming off the bench and other days he’ll start well and then fade. At Chester he had the constant class and quality we know he has and obviously we’ve lost Hannant to Port Vale.

“Maybe he has seen this as a chance to step up to the plate and be the really creative player for us we know he can be.”

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