Three Days Until the Tyne Wear Derby
Gardener will join up with his team mates this Sunday and travel to the Sports Direct Arena.
'Everyone wants to win a local derby and we know how much it means to the fans,' he said.
'It's another big occasion in what's been a pretty incredible three months.
'I've said before that it was really tough at the start but I'm starting to enjoy myself now.
'I want to play and I want to win. Obviously we had a bad defeat last weekend but hopefully the fans can appreciate what we've done over the last few months.'
Distractions are not on Gardeners mind in all the pre match hype.
'We've been there on different occasions, as a player you need to block everything out and concentrate on the game,' he explained.
'That's what the manager is best at. He makes you forget about things but he won't let us forget about what we need to do on the pitch, and that's the main thing.'