Macaulay Langstaff says he is enjoying his football more than ever after penning a new deal at Gateshead.
The forward extended his stay on Tyneside until the summer of 2023 on Friday after a blistering first half of the season which has seen him score 18 goals in 26 games.
“I’ve spoken to a few people about it recently and have said it’s the most I’ve ever enjoyed my football,” Langstaff said.
“I’ve always enjoyed it at Gateshead, even when I first signed, although I didn’t really have a run of games.
“I love the group of lads, I love the management staff and the people I’m working with, combined with the fact that I’m playing regularly – I’m really enjoying my football at the moment.
“I’m enjoying it off the pitch and on the pitch with the way we play, I feel like it suits me, and I think that’s important in football.
“The manager and the staff I’m working with are a massive thing for me, I think I’ve improved as a player and am still improving every single day.
“In terms of my football career and my development, I think I’m in a good place with who I’m working with and I feel like I’m going to keep improving under them.
“I’ve mentioned the group of lads here before, but they were massive in my decision to stay – it’s the best dressing room I’ve ever been involved in.
“I’m playing week in, week out, I’m doing well and the project at the club excites me.
“I feel like we’ve got something special going on with the group we have.”
Langstaff’s red-hot form in front of goal sees him on 14 league goals so far this season, one behind the joint-top scorers in the division as things stand heading into Saturday’s game against York City.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t check the top scorers list!” he added.
“I like to see where I am in terms of the scoring charts and I think it gives me confidence.
“If you’re looking and seeing your name up there all the time it gives you that confidence to go on the pitch and score goals.
“It’s good to be where I am in the top scorers list at the moment, and I want to stay there and go on to top the list but you don’t want to become too focused on it.
“I was saying this the other day, but in Mike and Busted’s team you need to offer a lot more than just scoring goals.
“The majority of the time at a football club I think if you’re scoring goals then you’ll probably stay in the team, but at this football club you’ve got to offer so much more than that.
“That’s why my game has improved a lot, because I’m working with Mike on other things like the way you press off the ball.
“I’m scoring goals but I need to offer more than that to stay in the team, and if I’m not doing that I’ll come out of the team.
“The goals are a bonus, but there is so much more that I need to do to improve my game and stay in the team and I feel I’m learning more and more on that side of things.”
Saturday’s trip to York City affords Gateshead the chance to potentially extend their lead at the top of the table to six points should they win and results elsewhere go their way.
Langstaff is keen to remain grounded however, with 20 games still to be played in the National League North season.
“We don’t get too focused on our league position, we all know what we need to do to get where we need to be,” he said.
“It’s a cliché, but we take every game as it comes and that’s what Mike drums into us every single day.
“We keep focused on the next game, trying to improve and sticking to our process and that will take us where we want to be.
“We’re top of the league at the moment but there’s a long way to go and a lot will happen between now and the end of the season.”