Gary Mills: Gateshead chairman lauds manager's impact

Gateshead chairman Graham Wood has praised manager Gary Mills' impact since his arrival in September.

Former York City boss Mills, 52, took over from Anth Smith with the club 19th in the Conference Premier table, and has since overseen a transformation.

Gateshead owner discusses revival

Saturday's win over Braintree lifted them to third with just six games left.

"Gary deserves all the credit. He has done a tremendous job and is widely recognised as being one of the best managers in non-league," said Wood.

At previous club York, Mills won both the Conference Premier play-offs and FA Trophy in 2012.

But he was sacked the following year, despite the club being 18th in League Two with two months of the season left.

"You can see why he's so highly rated when you work with him," Wood told BBC Late Kick Off North East & Cumbria.

"I think he could be one of the best managers in the Football League too - he's very talented."

Gary Mills' career highlights

Playing honours:

  • Nott'm Forest - 1979 & 1980 European Cup
  • Leicester - 1994 First Division play-offs

Management honours:

  • Tamworth - 2009 Conference North
  • York - 2012 FA Trophy & Conference Premier

Gateshead were last at that level in 1960. The club's highest finish since came in 1996 when they placed fifth in non-league's top-flight.

In 2012, then-manager Ian Bogie led them to eighth in Conference Premier, two years after Wood had turned the club professional.

But with Premier League Newcastle United just two miles away, Gateshead rarely attract four-figure attendances.

As a result, former Sunderland vice-chairman Wood, bankrolls their professional status.

"We have probably lost two generations of support since getting voted out of the League," he explained.

"But I think there is certainly enough potential here to get the crowds back. Promotion would be huge - it'd increase income by around £1m."