Gardner â who battled homesickness last season â says he is delighted to be part of the Martin OâNeill revolution after âsnapping outâ of the funk that left his Sunderland career in stall mode 12 months ago.
âSunderland now reminds me of being at Villa when we were strengthening,â he told The Journal.
âYou sit there and you see Ashley Young, James Milner, John Carew and you think flippinâ hell, these are good players. You think âIâm involved in thisâ. Thatâs what we want to do, we want to finish high in the league.
âThe fans deserve it. Sunderland have had a yo-yo period but the gaffer is not a yo-yo manager. He wants to finish in the top six, the top eight every season and we can do that here.â