Alex Gilliead on his season with the club and the Notts County gameWe spoke to Alex Gilliead during the player appearance at William Howard School on Thursday about his season with the club ahead of the final game at Notts County.
"Personally this season has been top drawer," he told us. "I've got a new contract at Newcastle and I've done well with Carlisle, and I think that's the main reason I got my new contract.
"Collectively as a team we didn't hit the targets we thought we should have. I think after the win over Bristol Rovers the play-off push was right on, but results haven't gone our way since then and we haven't performed to the levels we know we can.
"I don't think that means we haven't had a good season. I think this time last year we were down at the bottom, but we could end up finishing eighth or ninth this season, so it's been a good one for us."
"I think I've grown up a lot during my time here," he admitted. "I've had to get stronger mentally because there's a lot of pressure on you to go out on the pitch and do your best. I think that will stand me in good stead in the future.
"There's always thousands of fans sitting in the stands wanting you to win and wanting the three points. It's all about how you handle that pressure. I just want to continue my development now. I'll obviously go away and have a bit of a break but I've got to be ready to come back flying next season for Newcastle, or wherever I may be."
Looking ahead to the Notts County game, he said: "We want to finish the season with three points. We want to finish as high up the table as we can because that will stand us in good stead for next year. If it's a win it will be a good way to round the season off.
"I've loved every minute of my time here," he said. "I've met some good friends which I think I'll have for life and I just want to finish it off on a high note now.
"I just want to be playing next season. If it's at Newcastle then happy days but, if not, I'm happy to go out on loan again. Obviously they don't know which league they'll be in next season yet, and it's the same with me because football changes all the time."
On the Premier League relegation battle, he said: "I think Newcastle will stay up. I think they'll get a win on Saturday and a win against Tottenham. If we can do that - and send the noisy neighbours down - I would be over the moon!"