Ben Gibson believes Middlesbrough have nothing to fear on Tuesday night as they look to overturn a one goal deficit in the second leg of the play-offs semi-finals.
Mile Jedinak’s first half header means it’s Aston Villa who will take an advantage going into the second leg at a sold-out Villa Park, but Gibson knows their fate is far from sealed.
“It’s a rollercoaster and it will go right to the wire,” he said. “It’s only half-time and there’s still a lot of football to be played. It won’t be difficult for us to get up for the second leg after losing the first.
“Everyone gave their all and played well, it just wasn’t our day. We were done by the set piece, but we still have a chance on Tuesday to upset the odds, and there’s an opportunity to get to Wembley, so we won’t need any motivating for that.
“There won’t be any lads walking off with their head down – we all know it’s half-time and it’s far from done.
“I said to my family when I left the house before the game, ‘we play football for these occasions’. Since I was a little boy, you dream of being part of these occasions, so there’s no point fearing them.
“When I retire, I’ll look back on these days and I’ll miss that feeling in your belly, that fire and the eyes of the fans.
“The fans were phenomenal and it’s a shame we couldn’t get that goal for them. There’s lots to be positive about and we look forward to Tuesday.”
Meanwhile, Tony Pulis revealed Daniel Ayala was to undergo a scan to determine whether or not he will be fit for the second leg on Tuesday night.
The Spaniard was forced off with a knee injury in the second half after colliding with Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.
“He’s going for a scan today so we’ll see what that says,” said Pulis. “It gives a bit of a chance for the swelling to go down to have a better look.
“It’s his knee and the scan will show whether it’s the bone or whether it’s medial. If there’s any chance of Dani playing, then he’s going to play.
“We’ll wait until he comes back from the hospital and take a view then.”