STRANGE, frustrating and thoroughly enjoyable. That is Anth Smith’s assessment of his first month or so as manager of Gateshead.
Hereafter, he would like the odd game of football!
The former Sunderland defender replaced Ian Bogie in mid-December and has overseen two wins, a draw and a defeat as well as a host of postponements due to the flooded International Stadium pitch and the more recent snow.
Without a fixture this weekend, the Tynesiders have switched Tuesday’s FA Trophy third round tie to Barrow’s Holker Street in the hope of the match going ahead.
However, while frustrated by limited opportunity to put his “little stamp” on matters, Smith insists what assessment he has managed has left him content with his squad – so much so Yemi Odubade has joined Forest Green Rovers on loan until the end of the season – and not unduly concerned by his side’s mounting fixture list and increasingly lowly league position.
He said: “It’s been a strange first month, that’s for sure.
“I had a good start and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the games, which is what it’s all about.
“The job itself is thoroughly enjoyable.
“The unfortunate part of what has happened over the last month or so is the little stamp I wanted to put on things, my ideas, I haven’t been able to implement because of the lack of games.
“I wanted to see where the squad is at, where I need to strengthen things.
“That’s a little bit frustrating, but looking at the squad we have flexibility, reasonable numbers and decent back-up and that is going to be tested to the limit.
“Now we have the scenario where we have games in hand, but they’re not points.”
Smith added: “From a playing perspective, you have to back yourself to be able to win games.
“That’s what I do. You have to go into those games in hand with confidence.
“It also goes back to what I have always said, that I don’t necessarily look at the league table at this stage of the campaign.
“Win your games, and your league position will sort itself out.
“That won’t change, it is what it is. There’s no point being negative about it.
“It’s about us being prepared for as and when we do have a game.”
Smith went on: “The weather’s left us in this position, and it’s a learning curve for me.
“It’s not something I expected to have to deal with, but it’s all part of the job. I just have to keep the players active and interested.”
:: BLYTH Spartans' Evo-Stik Premier game against Kendal Town at Croft Park today has been postponed.