Gardner Determined To Succeed
Craig Gardner has admitted it'll be no easy task to get into the first team this year, but he's going to keep on trying and he's determined to call a first team spot his own.
Speaking on the official site Craig has admitted that this is the season where he needs to get some real action and make a proper claim for a midfield spot.
Some of us are dying to see him get a run of 5-10 games in the centre so he can really show us what he's made of but sadly he's below Reo-Coker, Petrov, Sidwell and now it appears young Delph in the pecking order.
A terrific shame for the no nonsense midfielder who also has a cracking shot to boot.
'This is a massive season for me. I'm 22 now and I want to be involved in more games. Last season I played in quite a few cup ties but not as many Premier League games as I would have liked.
'All I can do is work hard in training and hope I get picked. But there's a lot of competition for places, so it won't be easy.'
Gardner admits himself that the centre of midfield is his preferred position but development wise he seems to have become stuck in a rut every since he was asked to deputise for our centre halves at right back. With Stuart Pearce also deciding 'such flexibility' could be an asset for the U21's, Gardner has struggled to recapture the form he showed when he first broke onto the scene.
He is however determined to get back on track.
'I'm not the kind to roll over. I intend to keep working hard and fighting for a place.
'We'll just have to see what happens. It's good to be part of such a great set-up. We have the right people here in terms of the manager and the staff and I think we will do well again.'