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Non-league: Poole's Conference South quest backed by rival boss Gayle
The Staines manager, a former Premier League striker with Wimbledon, praised Poole's performance and potential after delivering a knockout blow on Tuesday.
Gayle's Staines edged past Poole after Louie Theophanous's wonder-goal saw them emerge as 1-0 winners from their fourth qualifying round replay at Tatnam.
Southern Premier Poole are pushing for promotion this season and are in the mix to gain a place in Conference South, the division where Staines ply their trade.
And Gayle, who enjoyed a distinguished playing career with the likes of Brentford, Wimbledon and Watford, says he would welcome the chance to one day compete alongside Tom Killick's men at league level.
The 43-year-old told the Daily Echo: “Their pitch is one of the biggest we have ever come across.
“If they can use that to their advantage, then great. If they try to move the ball around and play to their strengths, I think they could do very well.”
Gayle expressed his delight after watching his team book a potentially lucrative first round clash with his former club Brentford.
But he admitted Staines had been fortunate to escape with a 0-0 draw against Poole in the initial tie last Saturday.
He added: “They showed a lot of guts and courage. Being honest, if they had finishing power, the game would have maybe been a one-way game in their favour.
“Over the course of the two games, they created a lot of opportunities but it was the finishing which let them down. But you could not fault them for their effort, determination and tactics.
“They are a very friendly club and the supporters were excellent on Tuesday night. I'd like to take the opportunity to wish them all the best for the rest of the season and, hopefully, we will see them again one day, maybe at the same level.”
Meanwhile, Poole manager Killick revealed he had given his players extra time to get over their cup disappointment ahead of Saturday's FA Trophy first qualifying round replay against Frome Town at Tatnam (3pm).
He said: “I gave the players night off training. Running round on a cold, miserable evening after Tuesday's game wouldn't necessarily have been beneficial for everyone. I am hoping that, by Saturday, we will have a renewed determination to try to do well in the FA Trophy.”
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