Cody McDonald talks exclusively to club website...
Cody McDonald says he is delighted to be back at the Gills and is determined to play his part as the club looks to have a successful conclusion to the season.
Cody officially signed on loan for the club on Friday and goes straight into Saturday’s squad for the visit of York City. He scored 25 goals during his season long loan spell at the Gills from Norwich during the 2010-11 season, and is eager to get going and prove his worth once more.
Speaking exclusively to the club’s official website he said:
“I’m buzzing, it’s a great opportunity for me to come back to Gillingham where I kick started my career really and hopefully I can play a part in the Gills getting promoted.
“I met with the Coventry Manager [Mark Robins] a couple of weeks ago and asked if it was a possibility that I could go out on loan, maybe until the end of the season and he said yes as long as they could find the right club and he was happy with it.
“My agent went from there and he came back and said Gillingham were looking to do something and I thought fantastic. Then it went a bit quiet and I thought it had died off but a couple of days ago I got a call saying everything is in place and could you make your way down.
“Nothing has really changed, all of the changing rooms are exactly the same, the lads have made me feel welcome and it puts your mind at ease when you have a good bunch.
“Thankfully it’s all sorted now and I’m here.”
Cody said that Martin Allen was a huge contributory factor in his decision to return on loan and is excited by the prospect of working with him and helping to achieve success.
He said: “I spoke to him last night on the phone and he told me his plans for the rest of the season and what his aim was with me. Straight away there was nothing not to like, he knows what he’s talking about and he’s proved that with results and I’m looking forward to working with him.
“Hopefully I can play a big part in him and the club getting success.”
With McDonald finding his first team opportunities at the Ricoh Arena somewhat limited, he believes Priestfield is the best place to re-build his confidence and find his scoring touch.
He added: “I started at the beginning of last season in the team and unfortunately got a bad injury and faded out of the squad. I went in and out, got in the team towards the end of the season and was playing just as well as I was at the start.
“Since the new Manager came in he brought in new formations which perhaps didn’t suit my game and it hasn’t quite worked out this season.
“That doesn’t mean to say it won’t in the future, it’s an opportunity for me to try and guarantee a starting place and I’m really looking forward to it.
“The season I had here last time was all on confidence and I was going in to every game thinking I could score a goal.
“I think it’s important for me to get off to a good start here and hopefully if I do that I can do something similar to what I did before, but I don’t want to dwell on that and live on it.
“I’m here now, it’s a fresh start, I’m looking forward to the challenge, I’ve met the lads and there isn’t many that we here before but they seem a great bunch and have made me feel welcome.
“I can’t wait to get in and get started.”
Cody had trained with the squad prior to signing his deal but he straight away noticed the positive vibe around the place, and the fact the club are second in the table provided a huge incentive for the striker to come back and reclaim top spot.
He said: “The lads are buzzing; they are not at the top end of the table for no reason. You can see the quality in the team; the manager has obviously come in and changed a few things and I’m always looking out for the results when I was at Coventry.
“They are doing great and hopefully we can continue that now.
“That [the league position] is a massive part of it – coming here in the first place was a great opportunity but to be where the lads are is a bonus. They are playing well and rightfully at the top end of the league, hopefully I can add that little bit and we’ll get promoted.”
I asked Cody if he had any second thoughts on returning to the club considering his first spell went so well, but he said the support of the fans alone was enough to tempt him back.
He said: “No, as soon as Coventry said I could go out on loan and Gillingham came up, the manager wasn’t keen on me going to another League One team, then this was the place for me.
“The fans were brilliant when I was here and by all accounts they have been fantastic again, following us everywhere and really getting behind us and I can’t wait for Saturday and thank them.
“It couldn’t have worked out better really with three home games on the spin, it’s a great opportunity for the lads to get nine points and get back on top.”
You can see Cody’s first exclusive video interview on Gills Player with Phill Catterick by clicking here.