Ben Gibson: Middlesbrough-Swansea a huge game for Boro in Premier League

Middlesbrough have to forget their chastening defeat at the hands of Liverpool '“ but learn from a '˜harsh lesson'.

Friday, 16th December 2016, 12:02 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 9:05 am
Ben Gibson tries to halt Sadio Mane at the Riverside. Picture by TOM COLLINS

That’s the message from captain Ben Gibson and manager Aitor Karanka ahead of their big game against Swansea City tomorrow.

Boro were well beaten in midweek by a resurgent Liverpool side, who had Adam Lallana in top form as they cruised to a 3-0 victory.

Karanka claimed Liverpool were the best side Boro had played this season, but for Gibson, it is the games against the teams around them at the bottom of the Premier league that will determine where the Teessiders finish.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Swansea occupy the final relegation spot in 18th, one place below Boro who have three points – and a vastly superior goal difference – in hand.

Gibson said: “We have to learn the harsh lesson, take it on board, remember it and improve on it and we have a huge game coming our way this weekend.

“We know from the Championship that you have got to beat the teams around you and if you can’t beat them, don’t lose to them.

“It’s something we’ve learned over the last two Championship campaigns and it’s no different this year – we’ve really got to compete and pick up points against these teams.

“Obviously if you can take points from Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool it’s a bonus. But it’s those games like Swansea that are going to be the big ones.”

Karanka admitted he had no complaints about the Liverpool result, but wants his players to remember how well they’ve done in other games this season, not just focus on the Reds reverse.

“We’ve played the top of the league teams this season and we have competed against every one of them but (against Liverpool) it was impossible,” he said.

“Liverpool were much better than us, in their intensity, in everything.

“When they were winning 2-0 they kept the same intensity, they wanted every ball and they moved the ball at amazing speed.

“We just have to keep going. We can’t forget the good season we are having so far, we have to recover as soon as possible because we have an important game on Saturday.”

Swansea come into the game on the back of a 3-1 reverse against West Bromwich Albion in midweek.

However, the last time they played a relegation rival, they beat Sunderland 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium.