Wednesday 22 November 2017

Gibson's ready to unleash City hell

Toffees star eager to repeat heroics and pile pressure on Mancini's Blues

FIT-AGAIN Darron Gibson is out to inflict more misery on Manchester City after finally putting his troublesome thigh problem behind him.

The Derryman (left) came through all but 17 minutes of Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Arsenal, ending a three-month spell on the sidelines.

Last January, the midfielder notched his first Everton goal to give David Moyes' men a 1-0 win over the Eastlands outfit -- a result he'd love to see repeated today.

However, along with Everton and Stoke City, Roberto Mancini's champions are one of just three Premier League sides still unbeaten at home this season.


And Gibson is in no doubt as to the magnitude of the test ahead.

"It would be brilliant to end their run at home. They're probably the best team in the league at the minute but you always want to play against the best teams. I think if we play the way we've been playing and the way we played last year against them then we could get a result," he said.

"I don't think they've been as good as they were last season but it's still early on. But they're still up at the top and they're not playing as well as they could be, so that shows you they're a great side.

"To be one of three teams not to have lost at home says a lot about us at the minute. We're playing really well, so hopefully we can keep it going and, if we can keep playing the way we're going, I think we can beat anyone."

The Blues may well have beaten Arsenal but for some wayward finishing and a harshly rejected penalty shout when Mikel Arteta's lunge on Steven Pienaar went unpunished by referee Michael Oliver.

For the most part, Moyes' men outshone the Gunners at their own game.

For Gibson, however, most important was coming through with nothing other than a few minor aches and pains.

"It was nice to be back," he confessed. "It's been a long time coming to be fair, a lot of hard work in the gym, but I was really pleased to be involved again.

"My thigh felt good. I came off with a knock on my foot but it's fine, I'll be alright for Saturday.

"It was a bit frustrating but I think it was probably good in a way not to get 90 minutes in, just to make sure my thigh was alright.

"I've been training hard with the physios and the fitness coaches for the last six weeks, so it shouldn't be too long before I'm back to full match fitness.

"It's been hard and I had a few setbacks which made it harder. Seeing the team playing so well and not being involved was hard to take but I'm glad to be back in now.

"I had a few problems with my thigh before I actually got injured and I knew I needed to get it sorted out. Hopefully this time it is."

Gibson was also thankful to the Everton faithful for their support -- both on the night and via messages on the social networking site, Twitter.

"It was nice," he said when asked about the rousing reception he received ahead of kick off. "I've been getting it on Twitter for 12 weeks, fans asking when I was going to be back and that, so it was nice to hear the cheer.

"I think we were unlucky not to get more from the game. We didn't have the best of starts and it took us a while to settle in. But once we got settled, we created chances and we just didn't take them.


"We've got a tough run of games coming up but I think we're playing well and we're creating chances. If we weren't creating chances, it would be worse. If we can keep everyone fit and keep playing the way we're playing, I think we'll do alright."

Gibson's team mate Phil Jagielka has also hailed the Derryman's return and describes him as "the complete midfielder".

"We have been a little bit light in that area over the last few months, so it is nice to have him back," Jagielka said.

"He learnt his trade at Manchester United. He's composed and has a good range of passing.

"He's not afraid to tackle or head, so he is pretty much the complete midfielder. He's a character as well and good to have around the dressing room."

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