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Gibson determined to take chance at Manchester United

Darron Gibson is determined not to waste the gilt-edged opportunity presented to him by Manchester United's current injury crisis.

After going two months without an appearance following the Carling Cup victory over Wolves in September, Gibson has suddenly appeared five times in 18 days as United's list of casualties continues to grow.

Ironically, while most of the problems have been in defence, the Red Devils midfield has been affected too as Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher have been pressed into emergency service at the back.

That has given Gibson his big break and he has vowed to take it.

"Manchester United is the best club in the world," said the 22-year-old.

"When you leave here there is only one way to go and that is down.

"As everyone knows, it is very difficult to make it at United but if you do it, you reap the rewards.

"The gaffer is famous for giving chances to young lads. If you take your chance he sticks with you, so hopefully I will keep getting a few more games."

While Ferguson is undoubtedly looking towards January, when Jonny Evans and John O'Shea are tipped to return, Craig Cathcart will return from a loan spell at Watford and Sol Campbell would be available on a free transfer should he wish to pursue an interest in the 35-year-old, for now he has to work with his present group of players.

As Ryan Giggs, Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney will be available for Saturday's encounter with Aston Villa, plus Nemanja Vidic, who has recovered from a flu virus, United do have options.

But with games piling up, it will not be long before Gibson is required again, probably against Wolves at Old Trafford on December 15.

"It is a difficult time for United," reflected Gibson.

"Obviously I don't like players being injured but it has given me a chance to prove myself.

"From not playing at all to playing three games in a week is tough going. But the manager has shown enough trust in me and I feel I have taken my opportunities so far. Hopefully they keep coming."

As someone who has also broken into the Republic of Ireland fold and is rated very highly by Giovanni Trapattoni, Gibson is clearly a player of immense promise.

His eye for a goal has not gone unnoticed either, with the three goals he scored in victories over Tottenham and West Ham all coming from outside the box.

Although in themselves the goals will not ensure Gibson has a career at Old Trafford, Ferguson knows that Paul Scholes-like ability to find the target from distance can be priceless in tight situations.

And, although he is not old by any means, Gibson knows the time is approaching when his career will arrive at a crossroads.

"Last season was my first real one at getting games so hopefully this year I will get a lot more," he said.

"I am pushing a lot harder so we will see what happens, although I have not really got a timescale worked out."

Quite apart from a congested festive programme, there are some quite tasty cup ties to look forward to.

The visit of Leeds in the FA Cup rekindles an intense rivalry that has been absent from the fixture list since 2004, while just three days later United head to Eastlands for the first leg of a Carling Cup semi-final with Manchester City that will have the entire city - and much further beyond - enthralled.

"The cup ties are massive games," said Gibson.

"They represent another chance to prove myself in front of big crowds.

"It is tough to get into the team regularly when you are young but hopefully I can keep having a positive impact and scoring a few goals, then we will see where it takes me."