Sunderland midfielder Gardner targeting England place

Craig Gardner
Gardner joined Birmingham from rivals Aston Villa for £3m in 2010

Midfielder Craig Gardner says he thinks signing for Sunderland will boost his chances of an England call-up.

The 24-year-old made the switch from Birmingham last month for a fee believed to be around £6m.

Gardner has represented England at under-21 level but is yet to win a senior cap.

He said: "I really want to play for England this year, and if you're doing well as a club you've got more chance of getting in the England team."

The calibre of Sunderland's other new additions had impressed him, he added.

"We've just signed Wes Brown, John O'Shea and Connor Wickham - they're top class players.

"Wes and John are used to winning everything at Man United and hopefully they can bring that into Sunderland."

And he said he was pleased to have former Birmingham team-mate Sebastian Larsson alongside him at his new club.

"Seb shows what he can do year after year. He's a grafter, he never gives up, his set-piece delivery is unbelievable."

Gardner ended last season as Birmingham's top scorer with eight goals, and he is aiming to surpass that tally in the next campaign.

"I said at the start of last season if I don't score at least 10 goals this season I'd consider it a failure and I'm going to say the same about this season."