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Sunderland midfielder Gardner denies homesick reports

Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner denies he's homesick for the Midlands.

Gardner claims to be enjoying his football again at Sunderland.

"I've heard a lot about homesickness but I don't really think it's right to describe it as that," Gardner told the Sunderland Echo.

"I came to Sunderland under Steve Bruce and I wasn't playing and it was tough for me, not playing.

"Me and Steve Bruce had a chat about it but I've never once come out and said in the media that I was homesick and wanted to leave. It's just that I thought to myself: 'Why did I come here?' I'd come here to play and I wasn't playing.

"I could have gone somewhere else and been playing, I could have stayed in Birmingham and kept on playing. That was where I was coming from.

"It's all about playing, if you're going to be happy. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind fighting for my place, but I felt as though I wasn't getting a fair crack of the whip. I felt as though I wasn't being played in my right position, felt as if I was being reined in.

"Those were the things that made me unhappy and think that if it wasn't going to work out, then it might be better for me to go back to the West Midlands where there were plenty of opportunities."

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