Ben Gibson left the Riverside Stadium on Sunday night preparing to watch his showdown with Chelsea star Diego Costa all over again.
The 23-year-old Middlesbrough defender gave as good as he got for much of his side’s Premier League clash with Costa and company, but saw the Spain international snatch a victory which sent the Blues to the top of the table with the game’s only goal.
That proved hugely frustrating for a man who is being touted as a candidate to make the step up to the full England squad this season, and he headed home intent on identifying anything he might have done differently.
Gibson, who captained the team in the Premier League for the first time, said: “I’ll go home and watch it, to be honest. I’ll go home and watch the game and learn what we could have done better.
“That’s what you have got to do. If you don’t get the results you want, you have got to learn, so that’s what I hope all the lads will be doing.
“I loved it. Ultimately he [Costa] comes out on top because he gets the winning goal, but for large parts he wasn’t really in the game and we handled him well, so it’s very frustrating.
“But we will have to learn from it, take the positives and move forward.”
Local boy Gibson is relishing the opportunity to test himself in the top flight with his home-town club having worked so hard in an effort to get them there in recent seasons.
However, he is not satisfied simply to make up the numbers and is desperate to continue his education against a different class of opponent.
He said: “It’s a great opportunity. You want to test yourself against the best players in the world, which is why we were desperate to get into this league and I am thoroughly enjoying plying my trade against these people now.
“We have had a bit of success lately, but as I said, ultimately it’s a bit frustrating because he comes out on top because he gets the winning goal.
“But for large parts as a defence, we handled him really well and we limited his opportunities.”
The defeat left Boro with just one win in their last 10 games, although they have returned from both Arsenal and Manchester City in recent weeks with more than creditable draws.
Gibson concedes they will need to start the points total ticking over in earnest if they are to avoid being sucked into trouble – they currently sit 15th but only a single point above the drop zone – but with home fixtures against Hull and Swansea among their next four, he is confident.
He said: “You have got to look at the fixtures we have had. We are on a good run – we took a point from Arsenal, should have maybe won the game; a great win at home here against Bournemouth; a draw against Manchester City and unlucky today, so we are on a good run.
“Keep performing like that and the results will come, I have no doubt about it. As I said to the lads in the dressing room, keep going like that, keep fighting like that and everything will be okay.”