By Dan Harrison
Gary Gardner has revealed Paul Lambert's words of wisdom have helped him stay strong during his injury lay-off.
Gardner is on a long road to recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, which he sustained while playing for Villa's U21 side against Stoke City in August.
It is the second time the midfielder has suffered a serious knee injury in his short career.
But he is determined to bounce back and feature strongly in Paul Lambert's future plans.
In fact, Gardner admitted some positive words from the manager have helped him remain upbeat.
"He's spoke with me and told me what he wants me to do and what he doesn't want me to do," said Gardner.
"But I've not had that much time to work with him.
"I came on against West Ham so that gives me positive feelings that he likes what he sees in me so hopefully when I get back I'll get another chance."
Gardner has vowed to come back a better player - even if it means playing in goal for Villa!
The 20-year-old has previous playing in between the sticks after being asked to carry out the role during his time in the youth ranks.
"I would play anywhere for this club," added the England U21 ace.
"When I was coming back from my injury I was still young enough to play in the youth team, the NextGen, the reserves, or whatever position this club asked me to play in, I will play there.
"Even if it's in goal. When I was U14's, I started three games in goal because they asked me to.
"I am a lad that will listen to the club and just get my head down.
"I've been here since I was six - I've been here nearly 15 years now.
"When I was 14, the two goalkeepers got injured.
"When I was little and we used to go over the park, Craig used to chuck me in goal because he was older than me and he used to blast shots at me.
"I can play in goal, I can play anywhere. I'll do that."
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