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Gray gives Gott Darlington debut
Craig Gott has become Martin Gray's latest signing and he will make his Darlington debut at home to Newcastle Benfield today.
The midfielder joins from Billingham Synthonia, and having scored three goals in nine appearances this term Gray hopes he will add a goal threat to Quakers' midfield.
"He's a creative, passing player who likes to put his foot on the ball," said Gray, who has not ruled out making more additions to his squad.
"I talked the other night about us needing to keep the ball better, so he should make us do that.
"He's got a goal in him too. He's got three in his last three games for Synners, so they'll be disappointed to lose him."
He will replace fellow former Pools trainee Marc Ellison in Quakers' central midfield, where he will partner Leon Scott, who was man of the match in Wednesday's 3-1 win over Durham City.
He scored Darlington's opening goal and also had a hand in the third. His long- range effort rebounded off a post and fell kindly for Steven Johnson to score.
Gray admits that the 26-year-old's appearance belies his tough-tackling playing style, which has made him a fixture in the line-up during Darlington's excellent start to the season, which sees them top of the table after ten matches.
"He's a strong lad and he wins tackles, but it's not only about that, it's about what you do when you win the ball," said Gray, who was also known as a combative midfielder in his playing days.
"It's great to have him at the club and he's vice-captain because he leads well from the middle of the park.
"His image is very deceiving. He is Mr Tantastic and he's a big, ripped lad, but as a player he's really hard-working. He always puts a shift in.
"I know what you mean about the comparisons with me, but he's not as good as me!"
While Gott's arrival is aimed at producing more goals, Gray was pleased to see Scott score his first for the club against Durham.
He became Quakers' tenth different scorer this term with his 37th minute effort from outside the penalty area.
Gray said: "He's honest, he works hard and I was pleased he got a goal because it's about time the midfield started chipping in.
"We rely so much on forwards and wide players, so the centre-backs and the midfielders have got to start chipping in with their fair share.
"He's a powerful lad and he likes to drive forward. Hopefully that goal will give him the confidence to get a few more."
Although Gray was pleased with Scott, he was not satisfied with the team's first-half performance.
"In the first half we all could've made better decisions on the ball. We were too anxious and played the wrong ball," said Gray.
"In the second half we proved that by making the right decisions we could open Durham up a bit more.
"The substitutes made a difference when they came on. Adam Clough kept the ball better and Steven Johnson was lively. He got a goal as well. That's what having a squad is for."
Striker Stephen Thompson will return to the line-up today, but David Dowson (groin) and Arjun Purewal (ankle) remain sidelined. Gray hopes Dowson will return for Tuesday's trip to Penrith.
Darlington will be bidding for their tenth win of the season against a Newcastle Benfield side who are 13th, having won three and lost five of their nine matches.
Benfield manager Perry Briggs believes that his team will be "massive underdogs".
He said: "We'll be going there to enjoy the experience, because we have nothing to lose."
Briggs will give fitness tests to strikers Stephen Young and Dan Taggart, as well as defender Darren Timmons.
"Our big problem is that we don't score enough goals, we're desperate for a striker," added Briggs.