Gateshead Ladies manager Carl Morrison is hoping his side can continue their near-flawless league away record at Wallsend this weekend.
Despite losing their 100% away record in a 5-1 defeat at Spennymoor Town Ladies last Sunday, The Heed have won four from five on the road in the North East Regional Womens Football League so far this season.
One of the toughest tests in the division awaits Gateshead next up however, with a trip to second-placed Wallsend on Sunday, March 26.
“The performance was alright [at Spennymoor], there were just two spells in the game that ultimately let us down,” said Morrison.
“I think on another day we’d come away with quite a few goals, and a few errors at the other end cost us, but it’s a tricky one because looking at the performance I think we were better against Spennymoor than we were against Pools Youth the week before.
“The girls just want to win, so if we lose a game it can be hard for them to see the positives.
“The negatives in the Spennymoor game were there for everybody to see, but I felt that we needed to reinforce some of the good stuff we did in the game as well.
“There was some good stuff in there we can build on, but we also need to make sure that we pay attention to the errors we made and work on them going forward.”
This Sunday’s trip to Wallsend sees Gateshead hoping to gain ground on the top half of the league table, with three points potentially enough to send The Heed to sixth place.
“You just want to go back in with a big game that everybody has to get up for,” said Morrison.
“There’s not time to dwell on the previous result now, because we’re up against top opposition on Sunday so everyone needs to be on it.
“We trained last night and everyone was really good – there has been a really good reaction to the defeat at the weekend.
“We’ve actually got a really good away record, apart from the two away performances to Spennymoor we’ve won every away game we’ve played, so we’ll look to go out there and get three points at the weekend.”
Morrison and Hugo Djassi have added two new recruits to the ranks this week, with Jess Douglas and Brogan Pearson becoming the latest additions to the squad ahead of the final seven games of the season.
Douglas has been out of action through injury since signing up with The Heed, but Morrison is hoping to see her qualities in a Gateshead shirt before the season is out.
“Jess will bring a lot of quality in the attacking areas and in the midfield – she’s quite versatile,” he said.
“She thinks she’s about a month away through injury, so we just need to wait and get a bit more guidance on that.
“She’ll be a good addition to the team and it will be good to eventually get her in the strip on a match day, she’s been around a while but with international clearance and injury she hasn’t been able to play yet.
“The girls who have already been here have reacted well [to new signings] – some of them have said that this is what they need, bringing in more competition, and the players we’ve brought in are training well and are fighting to get in the squad.
“Earlier in the season it has been the case that every player we’ve signed has gone into the squad because we didn’t have the numbers, whereas now we’re having to make tough decisions as to who makes the squad and who doesn’t.
“It’s about changing the culture from maybe an expectancy of, ‘I’ve trained, so I’ll play’, but it’s a senior women’s football team and you’ve got to earn your place.
“With the number of players we’ve got, the only way to fill the squad is through a combination of performance, attitude and training.
“That all dictates if you’re in the team, make the bench or if you’re still striving to get into the squad.
“There’s that challenge there for everybody now to take their opportunity when they get it, and we have healthy competition for places.”