GUISELEY’S joint-manager Russ O’Neill admitted that Tuesday night’s 5-2 West Riding County Cup quarter-final win at Goole was just what his side needed ahead of the visit of an in-form Gateshead side to Nethermoor on Saturday.

He was delighted with the performance of hat-trick hero Lee Shaw too, a player whose injury earlier in the season has meant he has had to fight hard to regain a first-team place, following his summer loan move from Chesterfield.

Goole was Shaw’s third start in a row in all competitions and he will hope to get the nod this weekend too, against a team who are unbeaten in nine games.

O’Neill said: “Everyone can see what Lee Shaw is about. He always works hard for the team and has been scoring plenty of goals in all of the last three seasons, especially at Grantham (Town).

“He picked up an injury for us though and others stepped in and did well. He’s been patient and although it was different kind of game the other night, those chances still need putting away and he got three goals.

“Hopefully he can stay positive and have that belief going forward between now and the end of the season.”

The whole team will need to take belief into Saturday’s tough home clash with Gateshead, but will hopefully be inspired by their fine 3-2 win in the reverse fixture.

O’Neill said: “If you look through the season, we were disappointing the other week against Telford (and have been in other games like that), but then we got a good result at Gateshead and have done well against others near the top like King’s Lynn and York.

“We have a lot of potential in the squad but we need a killer instinct too.That’s as much of a talent to have as technical improvements in the team are.

“We need to fulfil our potential otherwise we’ll be stuck (in mid-table). To have success we need to take points.”

O’Neill believes that the Goole cup clash was great preparation for tomorrow, saying: “Goole was a real positive, and I think the game was what we needed.

“The conditions were not ideal and we’ve had struggles all season adapting to different environments and strategies.

“There were one or two hairy moments, and we’re not happy with the two goals we conceded, but overall it was a productive night and it puts us in the semi-final against Harrogate now.”

Another positive was the return of midfielder Jamie Spencer, after two months out injured.

Asked about team news for the Gateshead encounter, O’Neill said: “We’ve more or less got a clean bill of health for the first time in I don’t know how long.

“Jamie Spencer played 75 minutes against Goole and Aaron Martin is free from suspension now, so we are looking forward to what will be a really tough game.”