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Sunderland's Gardner not bothered by Aston Villa sale claims

Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner says he has no issue with manager Martin O'Neill for selling him when they were at Aston Villa.

The 25-year old departed Villa Park for rivals Birmingham City in January 2010 when O'Neill was at the helm but he insists that it was he who wanted the move and not the manager.

"To be honest, I've read a bit about the gaffer selling me previously but it doesn't really paint the full picture". Gardner told Sunderland Echo.

"The truth is I wanted to leave, I was desperate to go because I wasn't getting games and that's why I was allowed to move - I was pestering him every day about going because I wanted to play football.

"The gaffer didn't want me to leave but I needed to go because I knew that reserve team football was no longer any good for me if I was going to develop as I wanted to."

He added: "He's just a top bloke and a top, top manager.

"The way he turned Aston Villa around was unbelievable and the way he has turned Sunderland around is unbelievable."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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