The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Paddy von Behr

GARY GARD­NER is ea­ger to soak up as much knowl­edge as pos­si­ble from Not­ting­ham For­est man­ager Dougie Freed­man be­fore re­turn­ing to As­ton Villa.

Gard­ner spent the se­cond half of last sea­son on loan at the City Ground and re­joined for an­other spell this month. The 23-year-old mid­fielder ad­mits man­ager Freed­man has al­ready be­come an im­por­tant fig­ure in his ca­reer.

“I can learn un­der Dougie and de­velop my ca­reer here, be­cause he is one of the best man­agers I have worked with,” said Gard­ner.“He knows what I am about and I know what he is about.

“I will al­ways put in 100 per cent, when­ever I play, but he has had a big in­flu­ence on my ca­reer and I want to re­pay that sup­port.

“It feels as though there is some­thing good build­ing here at the minute and he is do­ing a great job.

“The fans, play­ers and staff treated me so well and the gaffer is an hon­est man­ager. I loved work­ing un­der him. He gave me some­thing spe­cial last year. I thought we worked well. In foot­ball, that is hard to get.”

EA­GER: Gary Gard­ner

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