WINGER George Elliott has been handed a vote of confidence by coach Gary Thornton after being reinstated into the line-up.

The former dual-code junior international had a personal nightmare a fortnight ago as the Knights were edged out by Swinton in the Challenge Cup, and he was omitted from the side that faced Oxford last week.

However, he has quickly regained his place for tonight's trip to Gateshead (7.30pm), with Thornton saying the 22-year-old Elliott had been missed as York fell to a shock home defeat.

"I think George just needed a kick up the backside after the Swinton game," reasoned Thornton.

"He came up with a few errors which he wasn't happy about, and it's good to give him a chance to put those issues right.

"Hopefully that was just a bad day at the office - he had looked pretty strong up to then."

Elliott comes back in for Luke Hardcastle, who misses out on a return to his former club.

Said Thornton: "Luke did okay - he did nothing wrong and made no mistakes - but George gives us a bit more coming out of our area."

Gateshead boss Stanley Gene is set to bring all three of his fit-again ex-Knights into their squad tonight.

Pivot Paul Stamp and forwards Rhys Clarke and Matty Barron all missed last week's loss to Oldham, as did winger Tom Capper, who is also included tonight.

Thunder boss Stanley Gene, disappointed with his side’s three straight defeats, said: "We have a good squad that can do the job, but I think we need to believe that we’re a good side that can compete.

“I‘ve challenged our forwards to man up, carry the ball harder, tackle harder, get the quick play, win on the floor. It’s a simple game - run hard and tackle hard.

"York are the top side in our division, and it’d be great for us to get the result and kick on from there.”

The match is an evening kick-off as Gateshead FC, who are managed by former York City boss Gary Mills and who share the International Stadium with Thunder, play an important match in the afternoon as they look to consolidate a play-off place in the Conference Premier.

Victory for the Knights will lift them into second place unless Hunslet and Oldham, the top two, who meet each other at 2pm this afternoon, draw.