Birmingham Live have claimed that Aston Villa have rejected Garry Monk’s request to use Gary Gardner on Sunday in the Second City derby – with the midfielder currently on loan at Birmingham City.
Gardner, 26, has spent the entire season on loan at Villa’s bitter rivals. The midfielder has been integral to Birmingham this season, clocking up 33 appearances in all competitions.
Monk had hoped to use Gardner in the hotly-anticipated clash on Sunday afternoon at St. Andrews. The game is not only important in terms of bragging rights, but because of the two sides separated by just two points in the table.
Indeed, both clubs are looking to make a late break for the Championship play-offs. Birmingham sit in eighth place under Monk and with 11 games to go, they are four points behind sixth. Villa are two behind the Blues.
Gardner was barred from playing in the reverse fixture earlier this season, a match which Villa won 4-2 at home. Monk has reportedly asked Villa to let the midfielder play on Sunday, which has been rejected.
Though it is slightly harsh on Gardner given the midfielder has next-to-no future at Villa Park, Monk and Birmingham could have expected little different given the rivalry between the sides.
Dean Smith’s men come into the match off the back of just two wins in their last 12 outings. However, they did just beat Derby County 4-0. They are not in a position to give out any helping hands.