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INTERVIEW: An opportunity we had to grab

15 September 2015

Newcastle United forward Alex Gilliead on his loan deal

Newcastle United forward Alex Gilliead gave us his reaction to the month long loan deal which keeps him at Brunton Park until the beginning of next month.

"I'm over the moon to be here," he said. "I've played under-21 football for three seasons now so when my agent told me Carlisle were interested I was more than happy to come here.

"The team are doing well and I just want to be a part of that and get some games. Hopefully I will get a chance to play and show what I can do." 

"My agent first told me Carlisle were interested at the end of last week," he added. "I follow a lot of football around the North East so I know a bit about Carlisle and Hartlepool anyway. 

"I knew Carlisle were playing well and my agent spoke to me after our game against Arsenal on Friday night. He said Carlisle wanted me and Macca [Macaulay Gillesphey] to come in. As soon as I heard that I just said let's make it happen.

"I need to be out and playing men's football now so it's a great opportunity. When I first joined Newcastle from my boys club I was playing as a number 9, but as I've got older I've been pushed out wide. I can play on the left and the right. I'm more right footed so when I play on the left I can cut in, but I don't mind going down the line as well." 

"Keith Curle has been really positive," he revealed. "He just wants us to play football and carry on what the players here have already been doing. It will be a good experience for us in League two so it's all been positive.

"The manager was an international defender so we'll learn a lot of different things from him. I'll learn a lot from him because of his past experiences. I've been playing under-21 football for three years so that is my comfort zone now. I need to be out of my comfort zone and playing men's football." 

"We trained with the lads this morning and we've done some shape work ahead of the game against Middlesbrough [Tuesday friendly]," he commented. "That's our first game and we'll just see how it goes from there.

"I did have interest from higher clubs but the style of football Carlisle play was one of the big reasons I wanted to come here. Peter [Beardsley] told me they play an attacking formation and that he felt it would be a good move for me.

"I think because of the way football is going at the moment young players are going to have to go out on loan to get experience. If you look at people like Harry Kane he's been at six or seven clubs.

"As soon as I knew Carlisle were interested I was more than happy to come here. As I say, Peter Beardsley said we should grab the opportunity and I'm glad we did. We could be playing at Anfield next week so what better experience could you ask for!"

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