Ben Gibson left the Riverside Stadium preparing to watch his showdown with Chelsea star Diego Costa all over again.
The 23-year-old Middlesbrough defender gave as good as he got for much of his side’s Premier League game with Costa and company, but saw the Spain international grab a victory which sent the Blues to the top of the table with the game’s only goal.
That proved hugely frustrating for a man who is being touted as a candidate to make the step up to the full England squad this season, and he headed home intent on identifying anything he might have done differently.
Gibson, who captained the team in the Premier League for the first time, said: “I’ll go home and watch it, to be honest. I’ll go home and watch the game and learn what we could have done better. That’s what you have got to do. If you don’t get the results you want, you have got to learn, so that’s what I hope all the lads will be doing.
“I loved it. Ultimately he (Costa) comes out on top because he gets the winning goal, but for large parts he wasn’t really in the game and we handled him well, so it’s very frustrating.”
Local boy Gibson is relishing the opportunity to test himself in the top flight but is not satisfied simply to make up the numbers.
“It’s a great opportunity. You want to test yourself against the best players in the world, which is why we were desperate to get into this league and I am thoroughly enjoying plying my trade against these people now.”
The defeat left Boro with just one win in their last 10 games, although they have returned from both Arsenal and Manchester City in recent weeks with more than creditable draws.
Although they sit 15th and just a point above the drop zone, Gibson is confident the points will start to come especially with home fixtures against Hull and Swansea among their next four.