Gary Gardner: Aston Villa will bounce straight back to the Premier League

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Midfielder Gary Gardner reckons Villa already have enough quality to earn a Premier League return at the first attempt.

Boss Roberto Di Matteo is looking to revamp a squad which won just three games last season as Villa were relegated, having finished rock bottom of the top flight table.

The Italian signed Tommy Elphick, Pierluigi Gollini and Aaron Tshibola early in the transfer window but there have been no further arrivals, with the focus instead turning to outgoings, as the club look to trim an over-sized squad.

Gardner, who has extensive experience of the second tier after racking up more than 60 appearances in during numerous loan spells, is confident Villa's squad is strong enough to challenge no matter the comings-and-goings in the weeks to come.

"It was tough for the boys last year but I know this year they'll be fine," he said.

"I've played in the Championship and we have enough quality to get back out of there. Every team has a difficult period but I think we'll be alright and hopefully we should bounce straight back."

Brad Guzan is expected to be the next player out of Villa Park, with the goalkeeper set to complete a move to Middlesbrough some time today. Tracy Gu, a Recon Group executive, has meanwhile been appointed the newest member of the club's board.

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