Gardner has been a key figure in Dougie Freedman's revival which has seen Forest win five and draw one of their last six games.
He said: "The manager has been very firm, he has been very organised and every one of us knows our job. There have been no excuses.
"If one player does not do their job, the whole team can fall down. The gaffer is not scared to pick you out in the dressing room if you do not do your job and, as a player, you do not like to be picked out. That is a major part. If you are not pulling your weight, you will not play. Everyone on the pitch wants to stay on the pitch."
The Daily Mail says Freedman has been delighted with Gardner's performances and wants him to be part of his ambitious project to take Forest into the Premier League.