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Heed boss Mills looks back on tough week

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Gateshead manager Gary Mills met with the local press on Friday afternoon to discuss his future at the club following a turbulent week.

Mills was given permission to speak to fellow Vanarama Conference side Wrexham on Tuesday, and headed across the Welsh border on Wednesday for talks.

He returned to the North East to take charge of Thursday’s training session, ahead of Saturday’s game at league leaders Barnet - in which he will lead the team as normal.

During the press conference, Mills revealed that a second club – a Football League outfit – had requested permission to talk to him.

That permission has been granted, with the 53-year-old weighing up his options at the time of writing.

Mills chose not to reveal the identity of the club in question, but announced that he will make a decision over his future at the International Stadium in the days ahead.

On Wrexham’s interest, he said: “Wrexham asked for permission, I’ve spoken to them, and they have offered me the job.

“The chairman gave me permission to speak to Wrexham, and there are reasons for that.

“I will have to make a decision in next few days.

“It’s tough.

“Wrexham, as we know, are traditionally a big football club.

“They have been out of the Football League for eight years – the same as [my former club] York City were – and they see me as potentially being the man to take them back up, which is lovely for me.

“But, is it right for me and for my family?

“I’ve never hidden away from the fact that I am happy here. This has come out of the blue – I’ve had a chat, and now I have to decide.

“We’ve worked hard to build something over the last two years at Gateshead, we’ve given the club a strength moving forward.

“And continuing that was very much on my agenda for next season – obviously, this has stirred it up.

“You never know what can crop up in this game – who may want you, who may not want you, when you might end up out of work – I’ve experienced all of that.

“Hand on heart, at this moment, I haven’t an answer either way, because it’s a big decision for me.

“But what I will say is that it will be done in the right way, and the decision will be made for the right reasons.”

On a second club approaching Gateshead for his services, Mills said: “Another club – a Football League club – have come in for me in the last 24 hours, and the chairman has given me permission to speak to them.

“At this stage, I am deciding whether or not to talk to them.

“It’s another spanner in the works.

“As you can imagine, it’s not an easy time for me, as lovely as it is to feel wanted.

“I want to do my job tomorrow. We’re on the TV – so I want my players to put on a show, and display the passion and desire necessary to get a result at a side at the top of the league.

“I hope everyone understands that it is only professional to concentrate on tomorrow first.

“For now, the Barnet game is what I am focussing on – it wouldn’t be fair on anybody, otherwise.

“I try to be honest as I can, but as you will appreciate, you can’t say everything you can until it’s right and proper to do that.”

On the future of his players, Mills said: “Players are out of contract. It’s their living, and they will be wondering whether or not they will be offered a new deal.

“If I am to be manager here next season, I will be talking to them. If not, it is not down to me to make decisions on behalf of somebody else.

“As we speak, it’s not fair on anybody to talk to the players.

“None of the players have spoken to me about my current situation, which is very respectful of them.

“They want to get on with the job, and they are looking forward to the game tomorrow.”

On his time at the International Stadium, Mills said: “It’s possibly the toughest decision I have had to make in my career.

“Not only do I love the area, I love the people here.

“I’ve never hidden that – it’s a great place to live.

“I came to get Gateshead out of this league. We came close last season, and although things haven’t gone swimmingly this time around, we have built up a strength and a sense of respect since I’ve been here, and shown others in this league what we’re about.

“A lot of people want to be involved with Gateshead Football Club now – sponsors, for example – while we had 1,200 for a game last week in which we had nothing to play for.

“And that’s important to me, and it’s important to the club as a whole.”

On tomorrow’s game at the Hive, with the hosts needing three points to clinch the league title, Mills said: “I’ll be putting a side out to get a result.

“Tomorrow’s game has got to be done in the right way.

“We have to be professional, we owe it to everyone at Bristol Rovers – the players, the manager, and the supporters – to do our jobs properly.

“I have a few players available again, so it’s nice to have a bit of a headache on who to select – something I haven’t had for a while.”

Mills welcomes Josh Gillies back to action following a two-week lay-off, while Ben Clark returns from suspension.

Tom Allan and Carl Finnigan have both been passed fit, although Valentin Gjokaj (knee) will miss out.

The game is to be broadcast live by BT Sport, with Martin Allen's Bees knowing that victory will see them back into the Football League following a two-year absence.

Source: www.gateshead-fc.com

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