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Gibson backed to handle England call-up

Interim England boss and former Boro manager Gareth Southgate was at the Riverside on Saturday to watch Gibson, along with several other players, ahead of naming his squad for the World Cup qualifier against Scotland on November 11, followed by a friendly with Spain.

Gibson is thought to be on the periphery of a call-up to the Three Lions squad after an impressive start to life in the Premier League, adding another clean sheet to his record in front of Southgate as the Teesiders beat Bournemouth 2-0.

Downing, who has 35 international caps for England, feels the 23-year-old has proven he has what it takes to play on the international scene and has no doubts his team mate will equip himself well if called upon.

“Ben has done himself no harm. He has been a consistent performer and that’s what he needs to do," Downing told the Northern Echo.

“Gareth knows him better than anyone, he will know he keeps improving and these last couple of clean sheets will have done him no harm.

“No doubt he will pick him if he deserves it, on form, he has shown he is not bothered about who they play for already, and form like he didn’t pick Wayne Rooney. I don’t think he will be afraid.

“Ben is vocal. He is a leader. He has been captain here a few times already, he knows the game and his performances have been really good.

“Even though we have not got results at times but his game has been bang on. Gareth knows him better than anyone, he has worked with him, he knows his qualities so no doubt he will pick him if he deserves it.”

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