Boss Keith Curle says the ball is now in Newcastle's court over whether Macaulay Gillesphey can remain part of Carlisle United's promotion push.

The defender's half-season loan is up in the new year - and Carlisle would like Gillesphey to stay for the season.

Curle believes United are in a good position to continue offering the 21-year-old first-team opportunities.

And retaining the left-sided defender's services could be all the more crucial in the absence of injured captain and left-back Danny Grainger.

Curle said: "I've spoken to Macaulay and his agent, and we've spoken to Newcastle.

"I think the process now is that Newcastle are speaking to their player to find out ultimately if Macaulay is happy, and does he see himself developing, improving and getting the game time his career development needs?

"There's lots of boxes being ticked."

Curle added: "The other aspect is Macaulay is a home bird - I think he enjoys his mum's cooking, enjoys his mum doing his washing and ironing and telling him what a good player he is!

"That will hopefully continue. Macaulay's a nice lad that's learning, and a young man that's going to go on and have a very good career."