Nottingham Forest’s on-loan midfielder Gary Gardner is relishing the new role that has been requested of him under incoming Forest boss Dougie Freedman.
The Aston Villa player is more natural in a more conventional central midfield role but in the last four games he has been deployed in a defensive role in front of the back four.
The 22-year-old signed at the City Ground until the end of the season during the January transfer window and is settling into his new role with aplomb.
Gardner has scored one goal and assisted three goals since his arrival and has been a big hit with the Forest faithful during his short time on Trentside.
The loan starlet spoke to Forest’s official website how he has felt about his new role under Freedman.
He said: ‘I am the sort of player that likes to get in the box, an all-round midfielder if you prefer, but the gaffer has given me a job to do.
‘It’s just to get on the ball and look after the opposition’s number 10, clean things up, get stuck in, win the headers and get the team playing for deep. I will play anywhere as long as I am out on that pitch.’
Gardner who has struggled with two long-term knee injuries in the past but is now clearly relishing his current opportunity to play first-team football in an attempt to get his career back on track.
Despite the managerial situation at Aston Villa, where Tim Sherwood has recently been appointed as the replacement to Paul Lambert, Gardner has only one focus on his mind.
‘I am a Forest player for know so my mind is 100% focused on helping the club to win football matches.
‘In the summer I will go back to Villa, have a chat with the manager (Tim Sherwood) and see where I go from there, but for now that is at the back of my mind’
The experience the youngster is getting from his current spell could put him in good stead for the future and also shows everybody the versatility he has to offer.
Gardner is expected to line up in his defensive midfield role tomorrow night as the Reds host high-flyers AFC Bournemouth at the City Ground.