Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Brilliant' Boro Have Raised the Bar - Gibson

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Brilliant' Boro Have Raised the Bar - Gibson

Article excerpt

Byline: ANTHONY VICKERS anthony.vickers@trinitymirror.com @untypicalboro

A 'BRILLIANT' display at Arsenal has raised the bar and Boro should be gunning for that level in every game now says Ben Gibson.

Battling Boro first muzzled then threatened to blast the Gunners away in an impressive 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium.

A tactical tweak in midfield gave Aitor Karanka's side a decisive edge. They soaked up some heavy early pressure from a side who had won six on the spin then hit on the break and only a string of superb saves from Petr Cech kept Boro at bay.

Star stopper Gibson says the performance has set the standard for the rest of the season.

"We felt great and we ended up slightly unhappy not to have got all three points to be honest," said the Teesside tackling machine.

"But if you come somewhere like this and come away with a clean sheet, you have to be delighted.

"I thought to a man we were brilliant. For me and the rest of the lads in the dressing room, that's the minimum standard now. We can't fall below that in terms of hard work, determination and fight.

"You've seen from everyone that we're capable of doing that, so we can't fall away from it now because that's what Middlesbrough is about."

Karanka played with three central midfielders to shackle the Gunners' attacking options and then looked to hit on the break, a system previously deployed when Boro were Championship underdogs in the cup.

"We've done it before, so to us it isn't a massive Traore brilliant'ly unlucky capped his with surprise," Gibson explained. "The gaffer has set us up like that for a fair few of these big games in the past - Man City, Liverpool and Man United - and each of them has paid off.

Ben "But we knew it was going to be tough. We knew they were going to control it, and we're delighted to have kept our shape and stopped them from getting through us.

"You can't come here and control the game - we're not naive enough to think that - so you have to prevent them from getting through you, and we got our just rewards. I actually think we could have won the game, but we got a reward in the end."

The system worked as the electric pace of deadline day signing Adam Traore - making his first start - carved Arsenal open and created a string of chances. …

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