Gardner intends to use the experience of mingling with the faithful to give him that extra incentive to kick on in the upcoming campaign.
"I've been sitting with the away fans," he told the Birmingham Mail.
"It shows how much they want it. You get to see how frustrated the fans get, how happy they get. You get to see a lot of that side.
"I used to go to every home game, too. A lot of my friends and family are Villa fans so I used to take them. I'd ask the lads for some tickets. I'm a Villa fan and I follow them.
"It was frustrating not to be playing, but you learn the other side and you know how much it means to the fans.
"For me, I'll remember sitting in those away ends when I'm on the pitch and it will make me give that extra ten per cent because you know the fans have travelled all over the world to see you play."
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