Byfield looking forward to Saturday
Former Sunderland player Darren Byfield says he's looking forward to meeting his former team-mates at the Priestfield Stadium on Saturday - and hopes to get on the scoresheet.
Byfield came to us from Rotherham in a swap deal which saw Michael Proctor go the opposite way, but his contract wasn't renewed at the end of last season when Sunderland implied that the player's agent was asking for too much - and he signed for the Gills on a free.
So far this season he's scored three of the Gills' seven league goals so far, from six league appearances.
He said today, "Hopefully we can get the right result, with me scoring!"
"I was expected to go back there for this season but didn't, so I've got a chance to say hello to a few old mates.
"You always enjoy playing against your previous clubs and playing against Sunderland will be good."
Expanding a little on the ultimately fruitless contract negotiations which he hoped would keep him at Sunderland, Byfield said "I was offered a deal by Sunderland and I wanted to stay because it's a massive club and I enjoyed it there.
"I don't see any point in having grudges in life. Things didn't work out and I'm very happy now at Gillingham, the only disappointing thing is that I didn't hear anything from Mick McCarthy about what was happening."
Meanwhile Byfield's new boss, Gills' player-manager Andy Hessenthaler, is treating Saturday's match with cautious optimism.
He said, "We have got to bounce back at home. It's not going to be easy, we'll have to be patient and the fans will have to be patient. But we had a decent result against Burnley and that should give us confidence.
"On paper Sunderland are a good team but they are not firing as well as they know they can. But I'm sure come the end of the season they will be up at the top of the table.
"It's been tough for them over the past couple of weeks because they've had a lot of players on international duty - that's something we haven't had to worry about.
"We have had a little bit of a break and I'm really looking forward to the game as I'm sure Mick McCarthy is."