Ben Gibson & Patrick Bamford deserve England call - Karanka

Patrick Bamford
Bamford was on loan at MK Dons and Derby last season

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka says Patrick Bamford and Ben Gibson have worked hard to earn their England under-21 call-ups.

Defender Gibson and forward Bamford, both 21, were named by former Boro boss Gareth Southgate in the squad for the Euro 2015 play-off against Croatia.

Gibson, who has five caps, came through the academy set-up while Bamford is on loan from Premier League side Chelsea.

"I'm very pleased with their call-ups," Karanka told BBC Tees.

"They are working very hard to improve because they are young, but they have everything they need for future success. Their feet are on the ground but they have quality."

Bamford, whose only U21 appearance came against San Marino in November 2013, has settled well since his arrival from Stamford Bridge, scoring two goals in seven including a strike against Liverpool in the League Cup.

Ben Gibson
Gibson made his debut in May 2014 and has already won five caps for England under-21s

And Karanka believes the England recognition will further boost the Grantham-born forward's confidence and reputation.

"It's important for his development," the Spaniard said.

"He's a quality player and when you receive this sort of praise it's good for a player."

Top Stories