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Gibson sticks to United task

DARRON Gibson says he won't give up on his dream of making the grade on a long-term basis at Manchester United.

The Ireland international was part of the United party which headed off to Spain today to prepare for tomorrow's Champions League battle with an in-form Valencia side.

However, as he failed to even make the bench for Sunday's Premier League game with Bolton, Gibson knows he still has work to do before he can call himself an established first-team player.

"I'm nearly 23 and I need to be playing games. There is a lot of pressure at Manchester United. The manager can't really afford to throw me in; if we lose I'll get the blame for it," said Gibson, who has scored once in three games for United this season.

"Well I don't think I'd get the blame totally. But if you start to play young players for experience when you've got the likes of Giggs and Scholes, people start to ask questions.

"You can only get so much experience from sitting on the bench. You need to play eventually. But the way I see it, if I go in there and play as well as I can every time I play, I think I'll be a valuable asset.

"I'd rather be first choice every week. It's going to take me a while to get there, so I'm not going to give up on it.

"I think I'll win more medals at Manchester United than anywhere else and, obviously, if I'm playing for Manchester United then I'll play for Ireland as well," added Gibson, who knows that his chances with Ireland will be limited until he can establish himself at Old Trafford. This being part of the reason why he has been passed by Derby County man Paul Green in the Irish pecking order and Gibson is ready for a bench role against Russia and Slovakia next month.

"I'm not expecting to start the games but I'll be ready if he needs me," he admits.

"I'm not really concerned because I think if I start playing for Manchester United every game I'll eventually play for Ireland every game.

"I'm just going to concentrate on getting into the United team. Obviously I'm ready to play when I go away with Ireland. If I don't get picked I'll be on the bench and ready to come on, what else can I do?

"Obviously I'm disappointed with not playing but Paul Green's a good player. He's scored a lot of goals and obviously he's playing every week, which I'm not.

"I can see why Trap picked him ahead of me. Things like that happen in football so you can either get on with it or sulk about it. I'll be ready to take the chance when he puts me in."



Impressive

Gibson had an impressive season for United last season but he has been peripheral this term with just one appearance in the Premier League, and that as a sub. Some weeks the Derry native does not even make it into the match-day squad.

"I would have liked to have been involved a bit more this season but I'm going to have to wait for my chance, like I did last season, and hopefully take it when it comes.

"I was very happy with how it went last season. The manager was looking to send me out on loan, so coming from that to playing in the quarter-finals of the Champions League is a big step. I wanted to stay and try to prove I could play for Manchester United," said Gibson.

The Derry man has nothing like the public profile of team-mate Wayne Rooney and that suits him right down to the ground as Gibson sympathises with the difficulties faced by the England striker now.

"I think it's just a slight confidence issue from the World Cup that he's brought back with him," he says. "He's just having a bad patch with his form. The recent scandal -- if you like -- in the papers didn't do him any favours. It probably did put a lot of stress on him.

"He's the same person around the training ground. It's just a matter of time before he's scoring goals again."


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