Midfield loanee enjoying his spell at ME7.
Josh Eccles has enjoyed an impressive start to his Gills career, and the young midfielder is already displaying the attributes which make him highly thought of at parent club Coventry City.
Ahead of Saturday’s league fixture with Oxford, Josh sat down with the local press and opened up on his early impressions of Gillingham and what his goals are for the season.
Playing against the Gills one day and signing for them the next
“The next day after the game (when Coventry visited MEMS Priestfield Stadium for the Carabao Cup tie) I got a call from my agent saying Gillingham are interested and he’ll keep me updated.
“Within two hours I was asked if I wanted to go tonight or tomorrow morning. I just came straight down here to get it sorted.
“My aim was to go out on loan and get a good League One team. It was a great feeling and there was no real hard decision to make.”
Style of play
“I like to pass the ball and get the play rolling side to side and forward and get attacks started. I’ve got to do my defensive roles and keep the back four safe.
“When the injured players are back, I’ll be in a competition. You have to work hard to get the shirt and, once you get it, you have to work hard to keep it.”
“More experienced players will hassle you. They’ll try to get on the younger lad. But you’ve just got to get on with your game and let them do what they need to do. Hopefully, I’ll get into their heads a little bit and wind them up as well.”
Oxford on Saturday
“Oxford have always been a decent side in League One. They were unfortunate last year not to get promotion to the Championship.
“We all know that they are a good team and we can only do what we can do, and that is to play our game and hope we can get three points.”
Playing to empty stadia
“Playing without a crowd feels normal. Playing U23, you don’t get many spectators. For me, I want the crowd to be there to get that experience. Hopefully they can get back soon, when it is safe to do so.
“The fans have been very warm towards me on social media after the first couple of weeks. I hope to impress them a little bit more.”
Partnering Coventry teammate Declan Drysdale in the Gills midfield
“I was desperate for him to come because I know he is a good player and he needs the exact same thing as me, which is minutes on the pitch. It’s great for both of us.
“He’s never played as a central midfielder in his life, so it’s a good learning curve for him. He can do it though, to be fair. He has passing ability and strength. I believe he can do it and I can help him as well.”
“He’s been decent; someone I can learn from. He’s a different type of manager. He’ll tell you if you are not doing your best. That is a good thing because he can help you improve as a player.
“He will tell you what’s right and wrong and he will back you as a team until the very end. He’s hungry for those three points. The least we can do is put on a good performance and get the three points for him, as much as for the fans or us.”
His new teammates
“I’ve always liked Connor Ogilvie. He’s just won every header this season so far. I also like Jordan Graham, he just gets at defenders. Jack Tucker is a young centre-half, he can play and gets tough with strikers.
“There are good personalities in this changing room. I think this could be a good season for us."