Striker Gary Madine still has a future at Sheffield Wednesday despite moving to Coventry City on a one-month loan deal, according to Owls head coach Stuart Gray.
The 24-year-old has struggled to command a regular first-team spot at Hillsborough, making just one Championship start this season. Nine of Madine’s 13 appearances have come as a substitute and his only goal came in the 3-0 victory over Notts County in the Capital One Cup.
Gray hopes Madine, who spent three months on loan with the Sky Blues in 2009, will re-discover his goal-scoring touch with the League One club and return to Wednesday a more confident player.
He said: “Gary just needs some football. Players want to play. Coventry have given him an opportunity to get some match sharpness and hopefully he will get some goals and, when he comes back, he will be full of confidence. That’s the reason why we’ve let him go out. Atdhe Nuhiu and Stevie May have probably been my number-one combination. We’ve brought Gary Taylor-Fletcher in so maybe it has just pushed Gary down the pecking order.
“Credit to Gary for getting off his backside and going to Coventry.
“He’s got five games and that’s better for him than warming the bench.
“We know Gary is a proven goalscorer at League One. Nothing beats scoring goals, whatever level you play at. He needs to go out and get that match intensity.”
The Owls chief said “two to three” clubs expressed an interest in Madine’s services. The Gateshead-born player will not be allowed to play in Coventry’s FA Cup campaign.
Sky Blues manager Stephen Pressley said: “We’ve been tracking Gary for sometime. We made enquiries about availability in the summer but he remained very much in Wednesday’s plans at the time. He certainly brings great presence and physicality to the team.”
Madine, who began his career at Carlisle, said: “I’ve always had a love for Coventry from when I was here before. I really enjoyed it and was a little bit heartbroken when I didn’t get to sign here permanently.
“Any player just wants to be loved wherever you play and I want to score some goals. I’m a fully-grown man now and I’m a lot stronger than what Coventry fans will remember be from my other loan spell. You can only get better when you get more experience.”
The Gateshead-born player is determined to make an impact at Coventry.
“I just want to come and score goals, the side are near the bottom of League One and that’s nowhere in a million years where Coventry City should be so hopefully I’ll get them goals knocked in and help climb the table,” said Madine, who knows Reda Johnson and Danny Pugh from their days with Wednesday.