Ben Gibson: France encounter is 'no friendly to us'

Monday 17 Nov 2014
Ben Gibson has become a regular in the heart of the England Under-21 defence
Ben Gibson says England Under-21s will be taking Monday’s game with France as though it was a fully competitive match.

The Three Lions are in Brest to face Les Bleus in their second game of the international week, as Gareth Southgate’s preparations for next summer’s Euro Finals continue.

And while there is nothing at stake from the game, Gibson and his team-mates are determined to continue their impressive run of 11 successive victories.

France v England 

International U21s Match
8pm, Monday 17 November 2014
Stade Francis-Le Ble, Brest
Live on BT Sport

"We want to keep our unbeaten run going and it might only be a friendly, but it’s not going to be a friendly to us," said the Middlesbrough defender.

"It’s been a fantastic year for us all as a group internationally, so we’re looking to win and keep building momentum.

"We want to play our way and establish ourselves as a good contender for the summer.

"We want to set ourselves some markers and there’s no better opportunity to do that than on Monday night."

Gibson and his squad-mates arrived in Brittany on Sunday and trained at the Stade Francis-Le Ble that evening.

They travelled in good spirits too, following last Thursday’s 3-1 win against fellow Euro Finalists Portugal in Burnley.

And even though France won’t be joining them in Czech Republic next June following their play-off defeat against Sweden, Gibson knows Monday will be a big test for Southgate’s team.

"We’ve looked at them and they’re a big, strong side and really powerful and athletic so it’s going to be a big test, especially here," he told

"It provides us with a little bit of a different test to Portugal, but we have no doubt that they will be a really good team and we’re going to have to be on our metal.

"We want to test ourselves against the best teams and that’s what we’re looking to do.

"It was a great result and performance on Thursday and we’re looking to build on that."

After training in the stadium, England Under-21s defender Ben Gibson chats about the game with France


By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels in Brest, France