There is a real buzz at Newcastle United according to Alex Gilliead.
The 21 year old winger says that the focus is on ‘staying up first’ but that ‘inside the camp they may be looking a bit higher’.
Gilliead is once again now looking at events from afar, out on loan once again for another loan spell, this time returning to Bradford after impressing last season for them in League One.
Tonight he is set to have a rare chance (loan players can play friendlies but not competitive matches against their own club) of impressing Rafa Benitez, as Bradford host Newcastle United in a friendly.
Alex Gilliead says ‘obviously I will be over the moon if I play, I just want to show everyone what I can do’.
The winger played the full 90 minutes on Saturday and had a decent game, as Bradford bounced back from going 3-0 down by half-time, to eventually finish only 3-2 down to Sunderland.
That game was a Saturday afternoon kick-off and attracted a crowd of 3,902 with 999 Sunderland fans included in that total, interesting to see how that compares to the attendance on a Wednesday night with Newcastle visiting.
Summing up the mood at the club he has temporarily left behind, Alex Gilliead declares ‘They have got a big manager in Rafa Benitez, huge fanbase, big stadium and good squad, so it’s looking promising at the moment’.
Let’s hope he’s right when the proper football kicks off in only 18 days time against Tottenham.
Interesting to see how Alex Gilliead gets on tonight as well, he will never again have a friendly match where he will be so driven to impress.
Alex Gilliead talking to the Telegraph and Argus:
“There’s a bit of a buzz going round the club (Newcastle) at being back in the Premier League.
“They are focusing on staying up first, that’s the main aim, but inside the camp I think they may be looking a bit higher.
“They have got a big manager in Rafa Benitez, huge fanbase, big stadium and good squad, so it’s looking promising at the moment.
“Newcastle have got that momentum from winning promotion. They won the Championship in the last game and it’s a good place to be. They will all be raring to go for the season.
“Everyone wants to play in pre-season. It’s key for everyone to get some minutes so you’re sharp coming up to the first game.
“But obviously I will be over the moon if I can play. I just want to show everyone what I can do.
“It’s a big pitch out there and that’s what I like. I’m an up-and-down kind of player who likes getting in behind defenders and running with the ball.
“For that, you need the pitch to be perfect and then keep getting the ball so I can do what I do.
“I’m happy to be back here and happy to be back out there again.
“Having got injured last season, I’ve been building my fitness up for a while. I hadn’t played a full game for a while, so it’s good to be back.
“Newcastle will be a good game for us because you need to test yourself against the best.”