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Ben Gibson: We fought as a team and took away a valuable point

30 January 2021

Norwich City defender Ben Gibson praised the defensive effort of the team as, despite being reduced to 10 men, they claimed a well-earned point at home to Middlesbrough.

The Canaries had looked the more threatening off the two teams up until Emi Buendia was sent-off for a second bookable offence with 23 minutes left to play. However, from there Middlesbrough threw more men forward in search of a breakthrough and Norwich and Gibson had to be content with soaking up that pressure, defending well and trying to sneak a goal on the break.

“I think the changing room is a little bit deflated, but you are going to get that because we are a proud outfit and we want to win every single game and we want to beat everyone,” said Gibson.

“However, I think there are going to be times this season when you can’t win the game and then it is important that you don’t lose it. So, we take the positives today. It is a clean sheet, it is a point. It is difficult when you go down to ten men and in difficult circumstances as well because Middlesbrough are a good team, and they made the game difficult.

“They go man to man all over the pitch and it is something that we have analysed a lot. We knew that from the first game that we played against them.

“They basically leave one centre back free, so it is crucial then that centre-back, whoever it is, steps in and carries the ball. To be honest the pitch, after the weather we have had, is a little bit bobbly today so it was actually difficult to step in and carry the ball at times, you have almost got to beat a man to get free.

“They nullified us quite well and I think you have got to take your hat off to Middlesbrough for that because going forward we have been brilliant this year. We create chances and we are free flowing and some days you are going to have off days and when you do it is important that you stick together, and you grind a result out and we have done that. That is testament to all the lads, the lads that came on and the lads that started. We fought as a team and took away a valuable point.”

Speaking about the red card Gibson, added: “The referee played the advantage and I was just concentrating on defending the rest of the move, but it is frustrating to lose Emi because he is a maverick, everyone knows that.

“At the same time, you can’t be too hard on Emi Buendia because he has won us so many chances and so many balls back high up the pitch with his counter pressing. He is fantastic at doing that. I will need to see the incident again (to have a view on it), but it is disappointing that we will lose him for the next game (against Millwall).”

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