Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gibson 'buzzing' after FA cup goal

Derry's Manchester United and Ireland midfielder, Darron Gibson, scored his first competitive goal for the Premiership champions as they strolled to victory over Championship outfit, Southampton, in the FA Cup third round at St. Mary's on Sunday evening.

The 20 years-old Hazelbank lad, who entered the game as a second half substitute, justified his selection in the star studded panel with an 81st minute goal as United cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win, setting up a high profile fourth round clash with Spurs at Old Trafford.

And having finally got off the mark with his first senior strike for the club, Gibson revealed he is determined to make the most of his opportunity in the first team and, hopefully, find the net once again tomorrow night as United take on Derby County in the Carling Cup semi-final at Pride Park.

"I played in the FA Cup last year when I was out on loan with Wolves, but this was my first time playing in the competition with Manchester United and it was totally different. It was the biggest game of my career to date," declared Darren.

"I really enjoyed the experience, especially getting on the scoresheet and, If I'm to be totally honest, I could have scored a few more. I missed a few chances before I did find the net so it was a relief to finally get a goal. Wayne Rooney did really well to find me for our third goal.

"I must admit I'm buzzing at the minute," he enthused. "I've been working extremely hard in training and have been trying to improve on my finishing. I'm trying to get into the box a lot more often.

"Hopefully, if I start on Wednesday night against Derby I'll get an opportunity to score another goal. The manager seems to be keeping his faith in me and I intend to do everything I can to stay in his plans. He's told me that I'll definitely be involved in the game against Derby so I hope I can get on the scoresheet again and continue to make an impression.

"I'm getting a lot more chances this season and the longer we stay in the FA Cup - and if we can reach the Carling Cup Final - then the more chances of first team action I'm going to get. And as the season goes on I might even get more opportunities in the Premiership which is what I'm aiming towards," claimed the Derry man.

Having now rubbed shoulders with players of the quality of Dimitar Berbatov, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney, Gibson believes he is continuing to develop as a player in the top flight of English football and is relishing the challenge.

"Playing with the likes of Rooney and Berbatov only makes you a better player," he maintains. "It's the first time I've played with Berbatov - he's different class.

He's a great player and he can find you with a pass from anywhere. It's definitely a lot easier playing alongside world class players.

"When I came on I started on the right side, I'm not sure why the manager wanted me to play there, but I'm just glad to be getting a chance to play and I'll play anywhere he wants me to. I would much prefer playing in the middle of the park but I'm certainly not going to complain if the manager chooses to play me, I'm just happy being involved."

Sir Alex Ferguson was pleased to see his side back amongst the goals again and was delighted to see Gibson net his first goal for the club.

"It's our best scoreline for quite a while," said the United boss.
"We've been missing too many chances lately, but at least we took a better percentage of them against Southampton.

"It was good to see Darron Gibson get off the mark. There's been a good spread of goals throughout the squad this season - that's 14 different players who have scored this season which is healthy,"
noted the Scot.

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