Following back to back defeats at home to VCD Athletic and Witham Town, the Aveley boss said that he needed to bolster his squad to get through the final two months of the season.
And with the Millers still to play another 17 games in the final eight weeks of the campaign, Gardner has brought in former Grays Athletic and Thamesmead winger, Chuck Duru (pictured), as well as Waltham Forest striker Oyetunji Oyewale.
Duru joined Grays from Romford at the start of the 2013/14 season but after suffering a spate of injuries the winger was released in October. Now back to fitness Duru’s lightning pace will add threat to Gardner’s attacking options.
“Chuck is a great additional to our squad” said the Millers boss. “He’s a good player, a hard worker and will give us more options on both wings.”
Also joining the club is ‘Tunji’ Oyewale from Waltham Forest who joins the Millers after scoring in both league encounters between the two sides this season, including a thunderbolt - which you can see by clicking here - in Waltham Forest’s 2-1 win at Mill Field in October.
“We played against him twice this season and I’ve personally seen him three or four times and he was the best player in the Forest team each time.
“He scored two great goals against us and terrorised us recently at their place. He has a good eye for goal and is another useful addition to the squad” said Gardner.
Oyewale and Duru come into the squad shortly after the return of Paul Burnett who played for the Millers over the majority of last season, scoring six goals.
Having not played for three months Burnett returned to the side to play the full 90 minutes in the win at Waltham Forest and was narrowly pushed out of the man of the match spot by Teddy Nesbitt, and Gardner is delighted to have the winger back in his side.
“Paul is a player I’ve been trying to get back for a while but for one reason or the other he wasn’t able to commit enough time to the club.
“But I’m delighted to have him back as he’s a player I didn’t want to lose last season, and hopefully he can finish the season well.”
Gardner was also delighted to see the return of his club captain, Billy Holland on Saturday. Having been out since September 9th, the Millers boss see’s the return of his captain as “as good as, if not better than a new signing” and believes that “we’re a better team with him in the side.”
“He’s not quite match-fit yet, but when he is it’ll be a massive boost to us. The quicker we get Billy back the better.”
Despite the acquisition of three new faces in the last couple of weeks, Gardner did confirm that goalkeeper Jack Giddens would be leaving the club and that a new goalkeeper will be drafted in.
After the club had to make further budget cuts, Giddens was the only person Gardner named as leaving, saying that “the majority of players have agreed to stay” which suggests that one or two more may follow Giddens out of Mill Field.