GUISELEY joint-manager Marcus Bignot is pleased to have players coming back from suspension ahead of this weekend's tricky clash at Gateshead in the Vanarama National League North, with one striker in particular making a hotly-anticipated return.

Aaron Martin, signed from Brighouse Town this summer, has begun the season on fire, netting 14 goals in his first 12 league games, a run which currently makes him the highest goalscorer in the top six tiers of English football.

But he was sent off in Guiseley's 3-1 defeat at Gloucester City on September 28, and in his three-match absence, the Lions were dumped out of the FA Cup by Peterborough Sports and were thumped 4-1 at AFC Telford United last time out.

Martin should have played last week, but Guiseley's home game with Darlington was postponed due to the bad weather. After a month out, he will be chomping at the bit to put in a good performance this weekend.

Speaking about his returning striker, Bignot said: "I've been really impressed with Aaron.

"He's got skills and talent but he backs that up with his character and personality too. He's getting his rewards because of that.

"Can he play at a higher level? Of course he can. It's like how I have a value on my house. It's only worth what someone's willing to pay (and the same applies to Aaron).

"How far he can go is up to him. He recognises what's got him here and if he keeps being the best version of himself off the pitch, he'll do well on the pitch too."

For now at least though, Martin is a happy Lion, and Guiseley will need him to perform on Saturday's visit to the North East.

Gateshead finished ninth in the National League last season, and are only down at this level after financial irregularities saw them demoted.

They made a slow start, but have won four of their last five league games to jump up to 10th. One thing in particular has really caught Bignot's eye.

He said: "Their home form is incredible. I think in the last half a dozen games (at the Gateshead International Stadium in all competitions) they've scored 18 goals and conceded none.

"Their recent form suggest they're a strong team in this division and being in the National League last year will stand them in good stead.

"It will be a difficult challenge with the journey up north but it's all about us on the day and if we perform, we can get a positive result."

A result would be timely for Bignot's side. They have not won in the league since thumping Hereford 3-0 on September 14, and have slipped from challenging for top spot to eighth.

The team that travels up to Gateshead should be strong though, with Bignot saying: "We should have a fully fit squad for the first time in a while and we've got players returning from suspension too (like Martin).

"We've got to focus on Saturday, as it has been a disappointing run of results."