By Jack McGraghan

New Gateshead manager Steve Watson stated his ambition is “to take this team into the league” shortly after he was unveiled on Tuesday afternoon.


Watson spoke to the gathered media at the International Stadium for the first time as the Heed’s new boss and made clear his intentions for the club right from the off.

“You have to have the players and you have to have something to build on and I believe we’ve got the players,” said Watson.

“The rest of it will come, maybe a different style of play to what they have been playing or maybe a different sort of philosophy on work ethic and standards and things like that.

“I have seen teams succeed in this division and make no mistake, that’s why I’m here. I’m here to be successful and to take this team into the Football League.”

The former Newcastle United defender returns to his native North-East following a two-year stint as Macclesfield Town’s assistant manager, and said he is keen to use his knowledge of the area to his advantage in his first managerial role.

“I’m over the moon, I’m really happy,” added the 43-year-old.

“Not just to be starting in management but to be back in the North-East, a place I know well.

“I know how football gets to people up here and I know how to get momentum going up here.

“I’ve just met the lads, they’re a really good squad of players and there’s no reason why we can’t do really well and I’m looking forward to it.”

His unveiling comes just under a week after the news of Neil Aspin’s departure to League Two side Port Vale, with Under-19s manager Micky Cummins overseeing the Heed’s 2-1 defeat against Bromley last Saturday.

Watson’s first match in the Gateshead hotseat comes away to Buxton in the FA Cup fourth round qualifying this Saturday, and he is looking towards the game to reinstill his side’s confidence following their recent league struggles.

“The first job is getting to the next round of the FA Cup,” he continued.

“I’m a very honest guy and I do believe what I say that there’s a squad of players already here that is equal to most if not every team in the league.

“It’s just a case of getting their confidence back and getting them playing football, starting on Saturday.”