Williamson delighted with progression following Harrogate win

Williamson delighted with progression following Harrogate win

By Jack McGraghan
24 July
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Mike Williamson believes progression through pre-season is the most important aspect following Tuesday evening’s 1-0 win over Harrogate Town.


(Photo: Emilio Andres Leal Kirtley)

The Heed took the lead midway through the first half when Paul Blackett was fouled by James Belshaw inside the area, before the striker stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick.

Harrogate came close on a number of occasions during the second half, striking the crossbar through Connor Hall while Mark Beck also spurned chances, but the hosts held on for their second consecutive win of pre-season.

Speaking to gateshead-fc.com, the gaffer told of his pleasure with the progression he is seeing from his new-look squad.

“I feel every day we’re getting a bit better,” he said.

“Physically and mentally we’re getting better and the squad is starting to shape up. We still need a few more bodies through the door but they have to be the right people.

“The lads are working relentlessly and they’re just an honest group of players – I couldn’t ask any more from them.

“Harrogate have got a lot of quality with [Mark] Beck and [Jon] Stead coming on and they’ve got a wealth of experience throughout the team.

“It was good to get the win, but my attention is more on the process and making sure we’re understanding, improving and growing as a group and I believe the wins will take care of themselves from there.”

Tuesday’s win over National League opposition represented Gateshead’s first clean-sheet of pre-season and they certainly had to earn it, but Williamson is pleased with the ‘battling’ display his side put on in the second 45.

“It was a very tough test on a warm evening,” he added.

“They were contrasting halves as we played some good football in the first half, got in some good areas and could have scored more goals.

“I believe in the second half we had to show resilience, character and our battling qualities. We rode our luck a few times but on the flipside, I think we also could have added to our account as well.

“I’m delighted with the lads, they seem to be growing in confidence as a group and heading in the direction that we want.”

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