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I Love Being Part Of It - Gibson

New signing starts in style as clean sheet helps set up Euro win

17 August 2018

Ben Gibson was delighted to play his part in another chapter in Burnley history as the recent arrival made a winning debut to help the Clarets advance in Europe.

Gibson was handed his first start since his joint club record signing from Middlesbrough earlier this month.

And the centre-back delivered the goods as he helped Sean Dyche’s men secure another clean sheet to help set up a 1-0 aggregate win over Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir and secured a Europa League knock-out tie with Olympiakos of Greece.

“I wanted to show the manager, the fans and, most importantly, my team-mates what I can bring,” said Gibson after Jack Cork’s injury-time winner lit up Turf Moor.

“You can’t do that until you get an opportunity. The manager gave me an opportunity tonight and it’s one I really enjoyed.

“The manager obviously felt the outfit he put out didn’t significantly weaken the team, which is good he believes in the squad and believes in the players and I think we rewarded that faith.

“We all will be looking to make a mark, but the end of the story is what’s good for the team.

“It doesn’t matter who plays. It’s what’s right for the team and what is important is Burnley Football Club keeps marching on, keep pressing on, keep achieving as they have been of late and it’s something I’m very, very happy to be part of.

“I’ve only been here 10 days, but I can tell you how this group of players, and staff, work. The work ethic is tremendous, but we balance that with a changing room full of very good banter and very good lads and I love being part of it.

“It’s testament to the boys, who’ve welcomed me with open arms and I’m really excited for the future.”

Dyche sent out a new-look back four with Gibson partnering Kevin Long – as they had done in the under-23s three nights previously – and the experienced duo of Phil Bardsley and Stephen Ward filling the full-back slots.

And despite seeing plenty of the ball, Basaksehir again found themselves shut out as Joe Hart proved impassable whenever the defence was breached.

“As a defender, 1-0 is what you thrive on and what you love,” added Gibson.

“It was fantastic. You put that effort in we have, not just tonight for 120 minutes but the 90 minutes away in Istanbul where it was another hard-fought clean sheet.

“It’s not an individual or defensive unit that’s got those clean sheets. It’s the full team and the full squad even.

“It’s something that’s struck me about this group of boys – how together everybody is.

“I have noticed that already and I thought tonight and the performance in Istanbul was a perfect sign of that.

“The morale is fantastic. We’ve had a good start to the season; a good solid start. That’s three clean sheets on the spin now and we’re slowly building.”

Gibson has enjoyed magical European nights before – as a fan.

The Teessider, 25, watched Middlesbrough reach the final of the UEFA Cup in 2006.

And with Burnley now just one round away from the group stages of the Europa League in their first European campaign for 51 years, he knows what it means for everyone involved.   

“Not just me, a lot of the lads here haven’t played in Europe before, so it’s a massive opportunity for all of us and one we want to make our mark in and it’s one we’ve enjoyed playing in this far,” Gibson said.

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