When Craig became available again, I had no hesitation in welcoming him back. He is someone who I enjoy working with.Aitor Karanka
Gardner re-joins Aitor Karanka’s staff and will begin supporting the First Team ahead of Sunday’s visit to Manchester City in the Emirates FA Cup.
Having previously worked with Karanka at Blues, the pair share a fantastic working relationship. And after completing a short spell with Sheffield Wednesday, the 34-year-old was identified as a perfect addition to Blues’ First Team setup.
His return rekindles a unique professional association between Gardner and the Club, with it being no secret that the former player has a strong affection for Blues and the City, in both a personal and professional capacity.
Upon his arrival last summer, Karanka established a great understanding with Gardner and the Blues Head Coach is pleased to welcome the former midfielder back to his boyhood club.
“When Craig left, we made it clear that we didn’t want to bring somebody in for the sake of it,” Karanka explained. “They had to be the right person and we were in no rush to find a replacement.
“When Craig became available again, I had no hesitation in welcoming him back. He is someone who I enjoy working with, he’s a coach who wants to learn and he’s someone who knows this Club better than most.
“He has been on the training pitch with us today and it was like he never left.
“All the players welcomed him back, they had a laugh and a joke with him and we hope now that he can help us in the coming weeks and months.”
In a 15-year playing career, the Solihull-born midfielder made 125 appearances for Blues, scoring 16 goals.
Welcome back, Craig.