Gary Gardner wants Aston Villa first-team role

Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner was sent out on loan to Nottingham Forest earlier this season.

Gary Gardner has told Aston Villa's official website that a lot has changed at the club since he returned from his loan spell at Nottingham Forest.

Gardner has been back at Villa Park since the Championship season ended, and he has returned to a new environment.

With Tim Sherwood and Kevin MacDonald now overseeing Villa's training, the midfielder says that the atmosphere has completely changed and that there is now a buoyancy about the team.

"A lot has changed," he admitted. "Tim has come in and Kev has returned to the club.

"I have been loving training. It's so sharp. The atmosphere is tremendous and there's a good confidence in the group. Hopefully we can go on now and win a cup final.

"It was frustrating checking out Villa's results as a fan at the start of the season but since the gaffer has come in, it's been brilliant."

Gardner was deemed surplus to requirements by Paul Lambert and sent out on two loan spells.

However, the 22-year-old is determined to force his way back into the Villa team now - and he is optimistic Sherwood will give him his chance.

"It's massively important for me to impress the gaffer, come back next season fit and strong and look to get in this team. I will be coming back sharp and hopefully I will get my chance.

"If you're good enough, the gaffer will play you. That's a refreshing attitude in football.

"I think it's great to see a manager who's willing to let young talent shine and develop. Hopefully I can impress him. I will work hard to get in his team."

Gardner's form while out on loan suggested that he has a big future in the game, and he could be a key player for Villa next season.

Capable in both an attacking and a defensive sense, Gardner is a complete midfielder and he will be hoping to show that he can perform at the top level next term.

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