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Villa academy chief Jones warns Gardner about leaving

Aston Villa academy boss Bryan Jones hopes Craig Gardner thinks twice about quitting Villa Park.

Jones is aware that Gardner will want first-team football, but knows the grass is not always greener.

"No it absolutely isn't (always greener)," he said. "He is still a young lad. He is still learning his trade. He still has a lot to learn. I am sure he will appreciate that.

"He just needs to be patient, and bide his tide and hopefully the opportunity will come.

"He is obviously in the manager's thoughts because he has been a squad player now for a full season."

Gardner was captain of Stuart Pearce's England U21 side against Germany in their final group game last week.

Jones added: "To be made captain of the under-21 side is a tremendous boost for him and the club.

"He has been a fringe player with Martin O'Neill at the moment and perhaps that will be just the little push he needs just to try to force his way to become a regular week-in, week-out Premier League player for us.

"That captaincy is a great boost for him."

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