Odin Bailey returns a better player

Odin Bailey in the thick of things for Blues Under-23s
Odin Bailey in the thick of things for Blues Under-23s

I feel like it's definitely improved my game in many ways. That's physically, mentally and - more than anything - temperamentally

Odin Bailey

Odin Bailey is seeking to reboot his Blues career.

The attacker admits that a loan spell away from the Club has done him a power of good.

The 19-year-old spent two months at Gloucester City, who are struggling in the National League South.

And Bailey - who began the campaign away with Garry Monk's First Team on tour in Austria and Germany - says it has helped him.

"At the start I was a little bit apprehensive about what it was going to be like, how I'm going to play and what the standard is like," he told

"But coming back to Blues now I feel like it's definitely improved my game in many ways. That's physically, mentally and - more than anything - temperamentally.

"Gloucester are struggling at the bottom of the table so going out there and experiencing fighting relegation every single week was something that I definitely needed; more strings to my bow."

Bailey, who made his Under-23s return in the 2-1 defeat at Burnley Under-23s on Monday and performed brightly, continued: "The big thing was the style of football that they played. It's nothing like academy football.

"It was definitely a good thing for me to do and, to be fair, I think I adapted really well to it, especially towards the back end of the loan I started to really shine and show my true quality."

To aid their development, Blues are keen that their younger players - at Under-23s and Under-18s level - go out on loan to experience 'real world' competitive football, that takes them out of their usual environment and comfort zone.

As for further specifics taken on board during his stint at Gloucester, Bailey said: "It's making sure we've (young players, Academy players) got both sides of the game.

"We know we may be good on the ball and have other qualities. But that grit and determination, both on and off the ball. Also, each game means everything, you're playing for points, playing to achieve something or avoid relegation."

Bailey, who scored twice in 12 appearances for Gloucester, is keen for a strong end to the season now.

It's forgotten that he was called-up for Monk's 18 in March, when he was an unused substitute for the visit of Ipswich Town. Bailey had been making waves as one of the Under-18s stars in the run to the FA Youth Cup Semi-Finals.

"Yes, definitely. It's about showing anything I want to do I can do it. Whether that's going back out on loan, whether that's staying here and playing 23s football and maybe having the odd chance to train with them (the First Team) and showing what I can do.

"I have to try and take any opportunities I get and show my quality. I’ve come back with a positive mindset, everything is going really well and it's keeping that same mindset right through to the end of the season."

Bailey is set to be on duty again for the Under-23s in the top-of-the-table clash against Leeds United Under-23s at Solihull Moors on Saturday (12 noon).

Reflecting on the defeat by the Clarets, that allowed Leeds to open up a six-point gap at the top of PDL North, Bailey said: "It was very frustrating for us. It took a while for us to get into the game and I think we only started playing towards the end of the first-

"But I think in the second-half we were definitely the better side. We created more chances, but we were just unlucky with a few. We needed to play like that from the very start of the game really."

Bailey did his utmost to help open the Burnley defence up, coming in off the left-hand side.

"We were just a bit sluggish out of the blocks and it took us a while to get going. I don't know the reason, but it's something that sometimes happens in football. It's about how we make up for that and to be fair I thought that the second-half we were really good but just couldn’t find that second gaol that we needed."