Birmingham boss McLeish trying to find room for Gardner
For yesterday's defeat to Real Mallorca, Gardner filled in as an emergency right-back in the absence of Stephen Carr, but the Blues boss revealed that he hopes his skipper will be fit to return for next week's season opener at Sunderland.
"We are hopefully that Stevie will be okay but Craig had a good game today, he's got good energy and he has been strong through the whole of the pre-season tour," McLeish told bcfc.com.
"I know he's bursting to play central midfield but we've got good players that had great seasons there last year and I need to assess things over the next few days to see who is looking the sharpest.
"We know that Bowyer and Ferguson are the guys in pole position and I suppose the smart money would be on these guys starting.
"But I've been really impressed by Gardner and also Michel's performance."