Craig Gardner wants midfield return

Gardner wants midfield return
© PA Photos
Craig Gardner admits that he is desperate to return to central midfield when Phil Bardsley is fit and ready to reclaim his right-back slot.

Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner has admitted that he wants to return to his preferred position quickly.

Gardner has been deployed at full-back by Martin O'Neill so far this season following a pre-season injury to regular right-back Phil Bardsley.

O'Neill has praised Gardner's versatility in recent weeks after suffering a succession of injuries to key defensive players including Wes Brown and Carlos Cuellar.

The 25-year-old revealed that he is aiming for a quick return to an advanced central position when Bardsley is available for selection.

He told the Hartlepool Mail: "I'm a central midfielder. I like to get forward and score goals, that's what I enjoy the most.

"But the manager has asked me to play at right-back until Bardo [Phil Bardsley] is fit and that's what I've done.

"I'm a central midfielder, but I will play anywhere for the good of the team."

Bardsley made the substitutes' bench for the first time this season in last weekend's 1-1 draw with local rivals Newcastle United.

Craig Gardner, John Terry
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