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Payback time

19 January 2016

Gary Gardner says he wants to repay Nottingham Forest’s fans for the support they gave him earlier this season.

The midfielder spent the second half of the 2014-15 campaign on loan at The City Ground, making an excellent impression on Trentside before returning to Aston Villa to challenge for a place in their first team. 

An injury in pre-season hampered his chances but Gardner was boosted by tweets from Forest fans wishing him a speedy recovery. 

And, now back at The City Ground for another loan spell, the 23-year-old is desperate to thank the fans, manager and chairman for their support with some strong performances.

Gardner said: “I couldn’t thank the fans enough. Even when I was back at Villa they were wishing me luck. I want to give everything I can for them. 

“The fans are very passionate and that’s the type of lad I am. Hopefully I can pay them back by giving good performances and getting as many wins as possible. 

“The gaffer and chairman know what sort of lad I am. Before I came here I was training hard and they know I look after my body. They knew what they were getting and I can’t thank them enough for getting me back in.” 

After playing his first competitive 90 minutes of the season in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Bolton, Gardner is now eyeing this weekend’s trip to table-topping Middlesbrough.

He said: “We’re going to have to travel up there and be on top form. They’re a top team but we’ve got a lot of ability here. It’s going to take a top performance to beat them. 

“But Middlesbrough are capable of being turned over. Bristol City have just beaten them so we’ll go there, give everything and hopefully get the three points."

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