Gardener Looking To Challenge
20-year-old Brummie Craig Gardner knows he faces more competition in the forthcoming season following the arrival of Nigel Reo-Coker but says he is determined to push his way further into the Villa first team following some great displays at the end of last season.
He told the official site:
'The gaffer's really encouraging. He keeps you on your toes and gets you up for every game. He praises you when praise is due and all he's done all season is praise me. I feel so confident when I'm at the training ground and when I'm out on the pitch - that's because of the things he's said. His comments about me in the press last season were amazing, but I'm just keeping my head down and I won't get carried away with any of it.'
He also says that O'Neill is 'a player's manager' adding 'You can see it in his eyes and in his face that he wants to win every single game. That's like me. In the Middlesbrough game at the end of last season, we just couldn't wait to get out in the second-half and we destroyed them. That's what we need next season.'
He certainly looked good at the end of last season, he isn't afraid to tackle or shoot. The next Andy Townsend maybe?
Roll on next season then!