MARK Bower has called for his players to show the same kind of workrate that got his side a valuable 3-1 away victory at Blyth Spartans on Tuesday.

The win was priceless for Avenue- helping them ease their relegation worries, whilst collecting their first three points in four games and with a daunting trip to league leaders Gateshead today, the boss is eager for his side to replicate a similar standard of performance.

He said: “We are going to a team (Gateshead) on Saturday who have turned us over twice already, and convincingly doing so, so there is always that professional pride to go and give a better account of ourselves.

"The win against Blyth in the week should give us that added confidence when going into this fixture. We defended well, restricted them and we were clinical in attack and another day we could have scored a few more goals.

"Nobody will expect us to get anything from the Gateshead game, so there will be a bit of pressure off our shoulders, however, we will expect the lads to go out and put in a similar performance to the Blyth one- certainly in terms of work ethic and we also need to impose our own qualities on the game.

"If we do that then I believe we stand a chance of getting something from it."

As well as being top of the points chart, Gateshead are leading the way in relation to goals scored- striking 77 goals in only 33 games, so Avenue's defence will need to bring their A-game to the fixture.

Bower said: "It will be very hard for us and I know most teams have tried to nullify their attacking threat, without great success this season, which is why they are top of the league.

"We've played them twice already- once in the league and we had the misfortune of drawing them in the first round of the FA Cup. We have scored four goals against them over the two games but we have come nowhere near to getting a result against them, so we have seen it first hand how good they are."

Bower added: "We will look to approach this game slightly different , whether it be change of personnel or a change in our tactical gameplan but we know we can cause them problems if we get it right.

"They are very good at pulling you about, making your players come into areas they don't want to and they are relentless in attack. You've got to be able to match that up but also counter it to ensure you get a foothold in the game.

"We must be adaptable- both in possession and out of possession, so we can cause them issues when they are also out of shape."

After Tuesday's victory at Blyth Spartans, Avenue have given themselves a nice cushion between themselves and the sole relegation spot, but ahead of a tough run-in Bower admitted his side need to be wary of those below them.

He said: "It was a massive win against Blyth because we beat Farsley a few weeks ago, and there was a bit of complacency setting in around the club, people thinking the job was done but it was far from that.

"We are about to go into a really tricky spell where we face a number of the top teams, so despite the victory on Tuesday we still need to remain focused on the task at hand. There are several teams that can still catch us."