Despite that setback, Gardner believes that Sunderland can still hit the upper reaches of the league come the end of the campaign.
"We don't have a target, we just want to finish as high as we can," he told the Newcastle Chronicle.
"Hopefully we can finish in the top eight and if we do that we have had a great season to finish there and get to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
"That is a really good season, but we need to get out there and put it right – starting on Saturday [against Wolves]."
Gardner moved to Sunderland from Birmingham City during the summer.