Gardner has been deployed as a shielder in front of the back four by Dougie Freedman and he has taken to his new role expertly.
The Aston Villa loanee has protected his back-four to great effect and his role in last night's victory was praised by Fox.
"All round it was a very good performance," the left-back said. "I think the fans will be happy with what they saw tonight, especially the football we played. We were patient before we scored the first goal and we kept the ball reasonably well.
“We pressed a bit more and kept nicking the ball and there was loads of space in the middle of the park for Henri, Benny and Gards, who I thought was excellent tonight protecting the back four."
When looking at the statistics from the match it is easy to see why Gardner is being valued so highly by his teammates.
|Total Tackle||Aerial Won||Total Pass||Passing Accuracy||Touches||Appearances||Mins Played|
Although his role in the team may not make many headlines over the course of the season, it is the platform upon which Forest are building their success under Freedman.
Gardner made six tackles and won five headers during the contest and he was central to everything the Reds did.
The 22-year-old had 81 touches of the ball and he distributed it fairly well - achieving a 75% pass completion ratio.
It was the complete performance from the defensive midfielder and if Gardner can continue to offer that much protection to the Reds' backline they will be a much more sturdy outfit because of it.