Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner refuses to allow his injury woes to beat him.

The 20-year-old is currently recovering from a second anterior cruciate ligament injury that has scuppered the early progression he had shown under new boss Paul Lambert.

"It's depressing but you've got to stay mentally strong," he told the Sunday Mercury. "You need that to be a footballer.

"You can't go your whole career without an injury or an operation these days, it's getting more and more likely now.

"My first injury has made me feel that I will come back stronger, 100 per cent."