Gibson's Champions League Dream
Midfield man dreams of huge European nights at Goodison.
Darron Gibson has revealed the thought of Champions League nights at Goodison is driving him to help Everton reach Europe's elite competition.
“Could you imagine Real Madrid or Barcelona coming for a Champions League game?,” said the 25-year-old. “The atmosphere at Goodison would be frightening.
“It’s unbelievable for just a Premier League game so imagine what the atmosphere would be like if we made it into the Champions League."
Everton are currently sixth in the league, level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal, while third to seventh spots are separated by just two points.
Gibson has Champions League experience at former club Manchester United and is acutely aware of how sizeable an achievement qualifying with Everton would be.
“It would be massive for the club," he continued. "We’re genuinely just taking it on a game-by-game basis at the moment and not over thinking it. But if we keep playing well I think we’ll be up there at the end of the season.
“To play in it again next season is a massive ask but it’s important for everyone at the Club because we all want to take Everton forward and improve. Europa League would be a big step.
“If we could get that fourth place I’d savour it, we all would, but I don’t think we’re setting it in stone as a target. We just need to keep putting points on the board. Fingers crossed at the end of the season we can be in there.”
Key to the Blues' chances of qualification will be the striking talents of Nikica Jelavic. The Croat has had such an impact since arriving a couple of weeks after Gibson in January that even a couple of games without scoring have raised eyebrows.
Gibson has no concerns though.
“He’s a bit like Michael Owen or Van Nistelrooy in the box," continued the Irishman. "He’s first class and I don’t think there’s many better than him in the Premier League at the moment.
“The vein of form he had when he first came was special, and from a football point of view I think we knew he couldn’t keep it up constantly.
“Every striker goes through a lean spell but it hasn’t taken him too long to score again. He’s definitely up there with the best goal scorers I’ve played with to be honest. His finishing is unbelievable.”
Everton are yet to lose a game in which Gibson has played all 90 minutes, although the player himself insists that is down to the performances of the team as a whole since his arrival.
“I’ve loved it – the lads, staff at the Club and the manager have made it very easy for me to settle in and the good run of form we’ve been on has helped,” he said. “We’ve been playing well and on a good run of form so that always makes things easier.
“We’ve got a great squad with some talented players. It was probably the best time for me to come in.”