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O'Neill Suggests Gardner Won't Stay In Defence

Stu Forster - Getty Images

Despite his great form, and recent Player Of The Month accolade on this very site, it seems that Craig Gardner is likely to return to midfield when Phil Bardsley returns to fitness.

Gardner arrived at the club as a midfielder, but never really performed all that well in the position. The goals he often banged in for Birmingham City just didn't materialize, and without those you wonder what he really added to the side.

Now Martin O'Neill has suggested in The Journal that this impressive stint at right back isn't going to last forever;

We're trying to stall him until Bardsley gets back.

It's true that goals are a principal part of his game, that's exactly right. Absolutely. That's the part you forfeit with him playing so far back.

In midfield, you always feel like he's going to get on the end of something.

It would seem a real shame to me. He looked decent in defence when plugged in mid-last season, and has done equally as well, if not better this time around in an extended run. If he can stay there, he could become a formidable force at the back, and possibly a full time right back. Hopefully he impresses enough to not be moved back. Let's face it - he's not going to oust Lee Cattermole or Jack Colback, or even Seb Larsson, while David Meyler is emerging as a bit of a favourite under O'Neill. Oh, and he never scored that many goals anyway.

Don't do it Martin, it could be a huge mistake.