Gibson targets fitting end to special season
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Ben Gibson owes Daniel Farke a debt for salvaging his career at Norwich City.
The on loan Burnley centre back is now a key figure in the Canaries’ Championship title assault after a spell in the wilderness prior to a season long loan switch.
Gibson will seal a permanent move from the Clarets if City clinch promotion, and Farke’s squad have a six point cushion to the rest ahead of Saturday’s reunion with his hometown club, Middlesbrough.
“I am thoroughly, thoroughly enjoying my time,” said the defender. “We play football in a way that suits me. The manager here encourages me to apply the attributes I have to our game.
"He wants me to step in to midfield and affect the play, to be brave with the ball, and he demands nothing less than that.
“What we have achieved so far is special but there is still work to do. You are facing a hangover from relegation, uncertainty over players’ futures, left over emotions from last season right throughout the club.
"What the manager and Stuart (Webber) have done is they wanted to squash all that and strip it right back. They have put players together who can be successful in this league and added a few to it, like myself.
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“(Playing Boro) is a really strange experience. Probably better without the fans because that would have been even weirder. It is a bizarre fixture for me but I am here to do a job for Norwich. If I don’t do that I let myself, my family and everyone else down here.”
Gibson, interviewed on the latest official EFL podcast, admits City’s attacking quality is a cut above, with the likes of Emi Buendia and Teemu Pukki spearheading the charge again after their impressive double act in the previous title win.
“One of Teemu’s biggest talents is he plays on the periphery of a game and maybe you can be fooled into thinking he is not really interested,” he said. “It’s not that, he is just quiet, floating around and that is a con. Bang, you switch off for half a second and he is in behind.
"The timing of the movement, the timing of the run is unbelievable, and nine times out of 10 he takes the opportunity.
"Emi is a bit of a maverick. He can produce something out of nothing. Wonderful talent, great attitude and he has a sheer love of the game. Every day in training you can see him messing about with the ball.
"He wants the ball, he wants to make that impact. He is a pleasure to play with. He demands a lot from himself and others. I know if I don’t give him the ball in those pockets of space he will scream at me and if I land it on his toe and he doesn’t score I will scream at him. With a talent like that you just have to keep giving him the ball.”