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Shock Tactics Suit Gibbo

Clarets defender aims for another FA Cup upset at Manchester City

25 January 2019

Ben Gibson heads back to Manchester City looking to play his part in another FA Cup shock.

Gibson was in the Middlesbrough side that knocked the then Premier League champions out of the competition at the same stage four years ago this week.

The emerging centre-back, having just turned 22, helped Boro keep a clean sheet as break-away goals from Patrick Bamford and Kike sealed a famous 2-0 win for the Championship side.

And Gibson, who could start in a re-shuffled Burnley back line for Saturday’s fourth-round tie, is hoping lightning can strike twice as he returns to the Etihad Stadium.

“We sort of hung on really for 88 minutes and then nicked a couple of goals when they were going for it,” recalled Gibson.

“It was a fantastic opportunity. It was a great atmosphere, a great occasion for us and that day we took it.

“Hopefully we get the same sort of response. It’s at a different club but the same type of feel and hopefully the same upset result this weekend.

“These teams, yes, they are massive clubs, and yes, they’ve done fantastic in the last few years.

“But just because they’re in these competitions doesn’t mean they hands-down win them.

“Yes, we know we’re going there as underdogs but we’re going there with a positive attitude.

“Lately we’ve been playing well with some good results and good performances and we believe we can cause an upset.”

Ben Gibson celebrates Middlesbrough's 2015 success at Manchester City

City gained a measure of revenge for their shock exit when they went to Teesside two years later and beat Middlesbrough in the quarter-finals, when Gibson was again in the Boro ranks.

Pep Guardiola’s side will be eyeing another extended run in the competition as they look to lift the cup for only the second time since 1969 and keep alive their hunt for four trophies.

But the Clarets have hit some form themselves in a five-match unbeaten run, which includes their 1-0 third-round win over Barnsley.

And Gibson, who played in that victory three weeks ago, hopes he gets the chance to figure again and try to keep the collective momentum going with a positive result against the defending league champions.

The summer signing, whose impact at Turf Moor has so far has been limited by two hernia operations and the form of Ben Mee and James Tarkowski, added: “It’s not against an average team, by any means, it’s against a top team, against the best players and, ultimately that’s who you want to test yourself against.

“It’s a very difficult game we’ve got. We’re under no illusion we’ll be going there as underdogs, but it’s a no-lose situation.

“Everyone writes you off, but we’ll be going there full of belief and full of confidence, especially with the last few performances and results and we’ll be trying to make an upset.

“If we get something out of the game then it’s another huge step forwards.

“There will be players looking to make their mark and, as a whole squad, everyone is in it together and we all want to keep this run going and keep these performances going.”

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