‘That’s the beauty of it’ - City defender relishing the Championship mix
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Ben Gibson is relishing the contrast in Championship challenges as Norwich City prepare for the robust style of Rotherham.
From losing 1-0 to Bournemouth and Derby ahead of the international break, two teams with similar possession-based ambitions to the Canaries, the newly-promoted Millers are likely to be a very different prospect.
Paul Warne’s side average the most aerial duels won and one of the lowest possession rates so far this season, as well as committing the most fouls, as they set about another scrap for survival on a shoestring budget.
“That’s the Championship, that’s the beauty of it, every game is completely different,” said Gibson.
“Derby was controlled, for 90 minutes I felt we were really dominant, had them penned in and just weren’t quite clinical enough in that final pass, final cross, lacking that final bit of quality that we know we have.
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“That’s the real frustration but we’ve just got to keep working really hard – and I have no doubt it will come.”
Gibson played a crucial role in Middlesbrough earning automatic promotion in 2016 - a year after play-off final defeat to Norwich.
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He continued: “That is this league. You can be super dominant but you’ve got to be ruthless. It doesn’t matter what team you are, how much money you have, the level of players you are – anyone that comes into this league is never going to steamroller it.
“It’s never as simple as people think it will be, that’s just not how the Championship pans out.”
The centre-back made his first league appearance in two years as he played all of the home defeat to Derby prior to the break, which meant it was also the 27-year-old’s first proper experience of playing behind closed doors.
“I’m just in my own little world, I’m that focused on the people around me and making sure that we’re in the right shape,” Gibson added.
“I’ve never noticed the things that have gone on outside the game or around the pitch; people getting nutmegged or people arguing. So that was much the same to be honest, but I have played here (at Carrow Road) before and the atmosphere was fantastic, like a barrage.
“So obviously we’re really excited to get the fans back but who knows when that will be?!”