Mowbray to stick with Gibson rather than bringing in a 'Johnny Average' from the Premier League (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Mowbray to stick with Gibson rather than bringing in a 'Johnny Average' from the Premier League
TONY MOWBRAY is reluctant to bring a defender in on loan while Ben Gibson has made such a fine start to his Middlesbrough career.
After making his full league debut on Saturday, 20-year-old centre half Gibson started for the first time at the Riverside Stadium and capped an impressive display with an equalising goal to seal a share of the spoils on an otherwise disappointing night for Boro.
Mowbray has been in the market to sign a defender to provide competition for regular centre-halves Jonathan Woodgate and Rhys Williams, but has admitted that last night's performance may force a rethink on that situation.
“There are options, there are young players from Premier League teams. But I want to give Ben Gibson a chance,” said Mowbray, after seeing his side draw 1-1 with Huddersfield Town last night.
“He's a fantastic individual. It was amazing for him to score the goal tonight, he's been desperate to play, he's been out on loan, because he wants to play football.
“Why would I want to bring a 20-year old from the Premier League on loan when I have a lad bursting out of his shirt to play for the Boro?
“Woodgate might be available at the weekend but he'll have a job getting back into the team. Ben was immense. There are parts to his game where we can all see he needs improvement, he's not a man mountain, but he's as game as they come and scored a fabulous goal.
“I want to give him the opportunity. Sometimes it's too easy to go out and pluck a Johnny Average from some team who hasn't played for months when you have Ben Gibson sitting here knocking on my door to get a chance.”
Gibson's goal, a header from a Grant Leadbitter cross into the top corner, was a high point in a game where Boro almost came away empty-handed after James Vaughan opened the scoring for The Terriers after 59 minutes.
Middlesbrough dominated for long spells and were much-improved from Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers, but Mowbray was, as seen all too often this year, left disappointed his side could not get a victory over the line.
“We're creating chances all the time, putting balls into box, creating chances all the time,” explained Mowbray. “It's a shame. Six draws in ten games is frustrating for us all but there's plenty of good play. It's not necessarily a structural thing, we look at each game separately try to put teams on the back foot.”
Last night's draw was played out in front of the lowest league crowd at the Riverside, with 12,793 attending, and Mowbray feels that the support is down to the hardcore.
He added: “The people who come are true Boro fans, hardcore, there are 75,000 sitting at home not watching, listening on the radio. The team is worth the support I'd have to say. I can only thank them whether they are positive or negative.
“Football is about getting results, my responsibility is to put teams out there that can win games and yet if they were seeing poor football, no shots, no efforts, another dreary game then I can understand any criticism, but 12k tonight is the true Boro fans, who support us through thick and thin.
“It might not be enjoyable at the moment - they want to see their team win – but I hope they can see progress with the team, a team that at times they enjoy seeing.
“I understand that when we concede a goal there is frustration, and yet I see lots of chances, lots of shots, and I think back to last year when we weren't as fluent but some goals were flying in, deflecting in, winning us tight games.
“We're just not getting the breaks at the moment. While that's not an excuse, it's ten games, we're not getting battered every week. Hopefully people will see the positives and will be back on Saturday and reward their faith in the team with three points.”
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