Steve Cuggy encouraged by Blyth Spartans effort

Blyth Spartans boss Steve Cuggy says his side has shown signs of improvement despite crashing out of the FA Cup first round to rivals Gateshead.

Spartans are currently bottom of Blue Square Bet North, but recently added new faces to the squad in the shape of Greg Pearson and Jamie Mole.

"Four or five weeks ago Gateshead would have turned up and steamrollered us," Cuggy told BBC Newcastle.

"We're a much better side now, so I'm quite positive moving forward."

Gateshead arrived at Croft Park as the favourites given their higher league status and impressive rise to sixth in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

However Blyth have a famous giantkilling history, having beaten league clubs including Stoke City (1977-78) and Bournemouth (2008-09) to secure a place in cup folklore.

"I knew before the game [about the reputation], I'm a local lad, I've seen Blyth play on many occasions," Gateshead boss Ian Bogie said.

"We've come across them many times and they've got a fantastic history in the FA Cup.

"It was our day. We deserved the victory and we've had fantastic backing from the fans, the 'Heed Army'.

"The supporters were out in their numbers and I applaud that as the manager."

Cuggy's aims on taking the manager's post at Spartans were to lead the club on a cup run and establish a safe mid-table position.

"We want to kick on for mid-table. People will look at the table and say we're miles away from that," he said.

"We've got two massive home games. We need to get some points from those games.

"We can't afford to dwell on this and have a hangover in the league."

Top Stories