Gibson defends Buendia but hopes 'little warrior' learns from latest red card

Emiliano Buendia of Norwich is sent off by Referee Keith Stroud during the Sky Bet Championship matc

Emi Buendia couldn't believe he was being sent off by referee Keith Stroud, for a second yellow card during Norwich City's 0-0 home draw with Middlesbrough - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Ben Gibson has stuck up for Emi Buendia after the playmaker’s harsh red card during a frustrating 0-0 home draw with Middlesbrough but admits the Championship leaders will miss their ‘little warrior’ during his two-game ban.  

Similarly to his red card during the 3-2 win at Stoke in November, the Argentine playmaker was dismissed for a naïve second yellow card, and because it is his second sending off of the season it means missing next week’s trips to Millwall and promotion rivals Swansea.

 

“They kept breaking and had the advantage so I didn’t really have time to think about it. I’ll have to see it again but obviously really disappointed to lose him for the next games,” Gibson said of the incident, with Buendia sliding in but making minimal contact with Boro midfielder George Saville. 

“So yeah it’s difficult but it’s important we’re not too hard on Emi. He’s missed out on that occasion but his counter-pressing has won us balls up the pitch many a time which had led us to goals and chances. 

“He’s a maverick, he’s fantastic, we won’t be too harsh on him.” 

Grant Hanley of Norwich blocks a free kick by Paddy McNair of Middlesbrough with his face and requir

Ben Gibson, left, defends a late Middlesbrough free-kick which left Grant Hanley, second from right, down hurt at the end of Norwich City's 0-0 home draw - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

It was the fourth red card of the feisty 24-year-old's Canaries career and the centre-back believes Buendia will just have to take his medicine after a frustrating incident. 

“That’s something you have to deal with, he’ll have to learn how to deal with,” Gibson continued. “I’m sure he’s had it the last couple of years, when you’re that talented a player, teams will set up to nullify him. 

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“That’s a massive compliment to Emi Buendia and it’s important he builds on that, he doesn’t sulk, he takes it on the chin. 

“Look at (Lionel) Messi, he gets kicked from pillar to post every single game, never moans, gets up, gets the ball and keeps asking for it – and Emi does the same, to be fair to him. 

“He’s a little warrior and we love to have him in the team. He’ll be fine and every experience like this is a big learning one for him.” 

Report: Buendia sees red as City frustrated by streetwise Boro

Despite the setback, City held out for a point and a third consecutive clean sheet in the league, keeping them four points clear of Swansea and six clear of third-placed Brentford, after both of their rivals won their games. 

“A tough game, tough conditions. With the way they play they are a difficult side to play against, you’ve got to carry the ball really because they go man-to-man all over the pitch,” Gibson said of the draw with his former club. 

“Early on they stood on me and probably nullified me stepping in a little bit. We’re proud and we want to win every game of football but in the circumstances today, a tough game, we go down to 10 men – you've got to take the draw and the clean sheet. 

“We can’t be too proud to think we can just roll everyone over and take the positives, it’s a point and a clean sheet, we move on to the next one.” 

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