Gardner reveals European ambitions

01 July 2011 07:30

Craig Gardner is targeting a European adventure with Sunderland after leaving one behind at Birmingham.

City, the club the 24-year-old supported as a boy, will play in the Europa League next season after winning the Carling Cup last time around. However, their relegation prompted Gardner to opt instead for Barclays Premier League football at the Stadium of Light when he signed a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee on Thursday.

And Gardner told SAC TV: "Obviously, we want to finish as high up the table as we can - we want to be in Europe next year and it's a great task to go and chase."

He added: "It's a good goal for us and we can go and do it, and I am sure we will."

Gardner, who scored 10 times for the Blues last season, revealed it did not take Black Cats boss Steve Bruce long to persuade him where his future lay after he headed for the north-east on Wednesday.

He said: "Speaking to him, he said, 'Craig, once you get here, you will love it'. I have been here 24 hours and I am so impressed with the place, the training ground, the staff.

"It's just an absolutely brilliant place to be, and hopefully we will settle down really quickly and I will start hitting the back of the net."

Gardner's arrival was announced just hours after South Korea international Ji Dong-won completed his own move to Sunderland from Chunnam Dragons.

The 20-year-old is already looking forward to going head-to-head with compatriots Park Ji-sung and Lee Chung-yong when the Black Cats come up against Manchester United and Bolton respectively.

He said: "I am so glad to be able to meet other Korean players on such a big stage, but there is no such excuse for the opponent. I will do my best to defeat them."

Source: PA