Gardner pledges Davies support
European football would be just the tonic to aid Davies's recovery, believes Gardner
Last Updated: March 5, 2008 6:52pm
Gardner: European aim
Aston Villa's Craig Gardner has a special reason for wanting to qualify for next season's UEFA Champion's League.
For he believes European football would be just the tonic to aid colleague Curtis Davies' speedy recovery from a long-term injury.
Davies ruptured his Achilles tendon in the 1-1 draw at Arsenal last weekend and is out for a minimum of six months.
The injury comes as a big blow for the defender - who is due to complete a permanent move from West Brom in the summer - as he has really found his form after a slow start to his Villa career.
Gardner sees European football as a big incentive for Davies' recovery, saying: "The best way to cheer Curtis up is by getting into Europe, so he has something big to aim for next season.
"We want to finish fourth, we're not settling for fifth or sixth, we want to finish fourth. Let's see if we can do it."
Gardner believes Davies has the temperament to overcome the set-back and pledged his support - as well as others in the dressing room.
He told Villa's official website: "Curtis was absolutely gutted in the dressing room afterwards and I understand why. But he'll come through this.
"He has the sense of humour and the right character to get over this and come back an even stronger player. I'll be there for him, Martin Laursen will be there for him and a lot of the others will support him.
"Curtis won't be forgotten about just because he's injured. Aston Villa are such a close unit now and we're all in it for each other.
"We might not be as showy about it as some teams - you see Chelsea and Arsenal hugging each other and I think that's a bit over the top, to be honest.
"But inside the dressing room and out there on the pitch we're there for each other any day of the week. I think that's what the gaffer has instilled in us."