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Interviews

INTERVIEW: I want to get people off their seat

11 February 2016

Alex Gilliead on his goal against Accrington

Attacking wide man Alex Gilliead spoke to us ahead of training on Wednesday about his goal against Accrington and his new contract at Newcastle United.

"My eyes did light up a bit when the ball came to me inside the area on Saturday," he said. "I thought it was well worked. Macca [Macaulay Gillesphey] fed it in to Jabo [Ibehre] and he flicked it round the corner. I think Charlie [Wyke] went to shoot but the tackle just came straight to me. I took a touch and it bobbled a little bit, but I managed to put it in.

"I like those sort of chances because you've got a bit of time to think and you've got to make your mind up early. I did that and put it in the bottom corner.

"I don't even know what my celebration was if I'm being honest. When I watched it back I was thinking - what was I doing there! I might have to get a few of the lads together and sort a celebration out.

"I love scoring and I want to score as many goals as I can wherever I'm playing. I think it's strikers who develop a trademark celebration so I'm not sure if I'll do that." 

"I love the attacking side of the game," he added. "As a wide man I've also got to help to defend whenever it's needed. I want to get on the ball, run at defenders, score goals, get crosses in the box and get people off their seat."

"We put out an attacking line up on Saturday," he told us. "Accrington are doing well in the league and I think it's only them and one other team who have actually played the same amount of games as us.

"They're in and around the play-offs and although we've got three or four games in hand on other teams it was important to beat Accrington.

"The manager told us we needed to go out and attack and get stuck in to them and I thought we did that well. We had a few other chances which would have made it an even better score line, but we're pleased with the result. 

"It was a big win and we're out of the cup now, so all we've got to focus on is the league. Promotion is our main aim so to pick up three big points against a good team did us the world of good."

On the physical aspect of the game on Saturday, he said: "I don't really enjoy that side of the game if I'm being honest. I was just happy that I didn't have to get stuck into anyone and no one got stuck into me. 

"It was a bit of a feisty game and I thought we dealt with it well. The result was all that mattered so it was good to come out on the right side of that.

"We need to get on a good run now. If you win five or six games in a row you could end up in the automatic promotion places. In this league, anyone can beat anyone, so we just need to find that consistency."

On signing an extended deal with parent club Newcastle United, he told us, "It's my boyhood club and I've always dreamed of playing for them. When I found out they were going to offer me a new contract I was over the moon and I just wanted to get it signed straight away.

"The manager and Paul Simpson have been over to watch me and I spoke to the manager before I signed my contract. He told me I was doing well and he just wanted me to keep it going, which does give you a good feeling.

"I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully catch people's eyes. It would be nice to help push Carlisle up the leagues, but also be in the thoughts at Newcastle next season, or whenever.

"My family are all Newcastle fans and my cousin tells me all the time how unbelievable it is. I've been there a while now so I'm used to it, but sometimes I do have to step back because it's a bit surreal. It's a dream come true really." 

"Playing competitive football has been important for my development," he commented. "It's a learning curve and I think it's important for young lads to go out on loan. It's a great experience to help your football career.

"It's all about progressing my career and in an ideal world this time next year I'll be talking to Magpies TV after I've put one in against Sunderland to help us beat them!"

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