Gardner agrees new Villa deal
Published 21/05/2014 | 18:52
Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner has agreed a new two-year deal with the club.
The 21-year-old has been blighted by injury problems in the past couple of seasons and did not make a single appearance for Villa in 2013/14, although he did play four times for Sheffield Wednesday on loan during the campaign.
He came through the ranks of Villa's academy, and having accepted the club's offer to sign on until June 2016, Gardner said on www.avfc.co.uk: "For me, it shows how much the club care about me and see me as a central player in the future.
"The manager (Paul Lambert) and other people at the club believe in me and know what I'm capable of. I want to be a big player for the team next season and I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can to demonstrate the potential they see in me.
"Obviously, it's been a frustrating two or so years for me. I injured my knee, the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), and I tried to get back too quick, which actually set me back a few months.
"I went to Sheffield Wednesday last season on loan, played through a foot injury and made it worse, so that was another setback.
"But that's the type of lad I am. I really want to do well here. This is my team, it's a brilliant football club and playing for Villa has always been my dream.
"With the England Under-21s, I've experienced international football and it's three years now since I made my Villa debut, so it's up to me now to work my way into the team again and stay there."
Gardner, whose senior first-team breakthrough came on loan with Coventry in 2011/12 before he made his debut for his parent club in December of that campaign, has started five Villa games and made 13 more appearances for them from the bench.