JJ O'Donnell calls for a change in ethos at Blyth Spartans after joining permanently from Gateshead

JJ O’Donnell has called for a change in ethos at Blyth Spartans after becoming Michael Nelson’s latest signing.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th May 2021, 9:50 am
JJ O'Donnell has become Michael Nelson's 14th summer signing at Blyth Spartans. (Photo credit: Kris Hodgetts)

The Spartans boss rounded off a hectic week at Croft Park by completing the signing of O’Donnell following his release from National League North rivals Gateshead.

The move sees the former Luton Town winger bring an end to his seven-year association with the Tynesiders after he scored 11 goals in 107 appearances for the International Stadium club.

O’Donnell had a short spell on loan with Spartans last season but has now put pen-to-paper on a deal to join the club on a permanent basis.

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This week’s signings of the likes of Michael Liddle, Dan Maguire and Nathan Buddle will raise hopes that Spartans can move on from two extremely challenging seasons where Covid-19 and the FA’s decision to curtail both campaigns has saved them from only the second relegation in their history.

A more positive atmosphere has enveloped Croft Park over the last week and O’Donnell believes that a complete mentality change is required as his new side looks to have a successful season in non-league’s second tier.

He said: “I think a lot needs to change, the club are trying to do that with the personnel they are bringing in.

“I think the ethos in the last couple of years has struggled, it’s been a losing mentality if I am honest.

“Covid has kept the club up twice, but I think this year it’s got the change mentality as players and as a whole club really.

“Covid is not going to save the club this year, that’s a fact, and as players, we need to do our upmost to perform week-in, week-out and get the club up the right end of the table, which I believe we can do and that’s the reason I came here.”

“The club has been used to losing over the last couple of years and almost accepting defeat.

“I think it’s something that needs to change, it really needs to change and obviously Nelse has brought in players that are used to this level.

“I think, as a group of players, we have to stand up and be counted this year.”