Meet the defender who has made a big ‘step up’ at Newcastle

Macaulay Gillesphey in action for Carlisle United.
Macaulay Gillesphey in action for Carlisle United.

Macaulay Gillesphey believes he’s stronger physically and mentally for his time away from Newcastle United.

The defender is back at St James’s Park after two years on loan at Carlisle United.

Gillesphey made 55 League Two appearances for the club.

The 21-year-old – who helped Newcastle’s Under–23s keep a clean sheet in Monday night’s goalless draw against Brighton and Hove Albion – could be loaned out again in January.

Gillesphey feels playing competitively week in, week out has helped his development.

Asked about his time at Carlisle, the Ashington-born player said: “It was good.

It’s a bit of a step up, especially the physical side of it, which I think I’m improving on.

Macaulay Gillesphey

“It’s a bit of a step up, especially the physical side of it, which I think I’m improving on.

“Mentally as well, and the way I deal with game afterwards, whether I’ve had a bad game or a good game, (I’ve improved) the way I deal with it.”

Gillesphey had to quickly adjust to the demands of league football after coming through the ranks at Newcastle’ Academy.

“It’s slightly different,” he said. “It does matter. Points do matter and people get bonuses for clean sheets and winning. It’s a bit different.”

For the moment, Gillesphey – who has trained with Rafa Benitez’s first-team squad and also played in last month’s Checkatrade Trophy win over Crewe Alexandra – is enjoying being back at St James’s Park.