The tall defender has had to look on as his young contemporaries Ledley King, Gary Doherty, Alton Thelwell, Simon Davies, Matthew Etherington and Dave McEwen all played Premiership football this season.
Gardner, meanwhile, still awaits his debut after his big-money move from Port Vale just over a year ago.
Ironically, the central defender was arguably the pick of the bunch in pre-season, especially on the Scandinavian tour, but a frustrating injury sustained just before kick-off halted his progress and he is still catching up.
The 20-year-old said: "Everyone seems to have been getting their chance in the last couple of months, getting in there and doing very well.
"Hopefully when I get my chance, if I get my chance, I can do exactly the same and do as well as those lads like Simon, Alton, Ledley and Gary Doherty.
"It gives you hope that the gaffer has faith to put them in and give them a chance - they've gone and done well so it gives you the edge to keep working hard.
"To be honest the pre-season injury didn't do me any favours. I came back and picked up another injury and after that I was trying to get fit, it took a while but I finally got fit and now I'm waiting for a chance."
Gardner has appeared in first team squads but, so far, he has had to settle for a regular place in the reserves.
He was there again in Wednesday night's reserve win at Watford where he admitted: "I'm happy with the way I'm playing.
"There is always room to improve, my fitness is getting better but hopefully I can keep going and perhaps get a couple of games towards the end of the season and do well.
"I would have loved to have got my debut and a couple of games in the side but it's not to be so far. You have to keep plugging away, don't sulk and get on with it. You have to keep your head up."
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You could understand Anthony Gardner feeling like the odd-man out at the moment.