Gary Gardner hails Aston Villa fans

Gary Gardner  - Aston Villa in action

The Aston Villa man hailed the club's fans on Twitter.

Gary Gardner  - Aston Villa in action

Aston Villa continued their pre-season preparations on Wednesday night with a 1-1 draw away to Bristol Rovers in a friendly.

Linked-away forward Jordan Ayew put speculation regarding his future to one side by firing Aston Villa ahead shortly before the half-time mark, but Matt Taylor levelled up in the final quarter to deny the Villans - who remain unbeaten in pre season - the victory.

Aston Villa's Gary Gardner (L) in action

Gary Gardner, who spent last season on loan at Nottingham Forest, replaced new boy Aaron Tshibola on 62 minutes to get around half-an-hour of football under his belt.

Plenty of Villa fans were in attendance at The Memorial Stadium last night, and Gardner has described the supporters as "top class" on Twitter this afternoon.

Roberto Di Matteo's side kick off the Championship on August 7 with a tricky visit to Sheffield Wednesday, who were beaten playoff finalists by Hull City in May.

It remains to be seen whether Gardner will be kept on by Di Matteo this summer.

(L - R) New chief executive Keith Wyness, new manager Roberto Di Matteo and new owner Dr Tony Xia during the press conference

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