IT WAS a throwaway post-match comment that left a sour taste.

Jordan Gibson had just come off the bench to liven up City’s final home game of the season against Walsall.

Simon Grayson was asked on the radio afterwards about the youngster’s lively impact and why he had never considered using him more often.

In what turned out to be his final Valley Parade interview, Grayson responded by questioning whether Gibson had been doing enough in training to earn an opportunity.

That touched a nerve with a player who is relishing greater chances next season with a freshly-signed two-year deal in his back pocket.

“It frustrated me a little bit,” admitted Gibson.

“I heard that and so did other players. I had a few coming up to me afterwards and saying that I’m one of the brightest players in training.

“Some things I do in training, people take note of.

“I think some days I was doing well and it was quite hard to take at the time.

“I’m not one to be lazy in training and not work hard. I was patient and waited for my chance to come.

“I didn’t once let it get to me. But it’s his opinion and he’s an experienced manager so I take it on board.”

That Walsall game was only the second under Grayson for the player who had scored the final goal of the Stuart McCall reign against Oldham.

Gibson was then given his first league start for the next manager’s swansong at Scunthorpe.

Grayson was the one who suggested the youngster was given a new deal this summer - but Gibson still didn't feel he got the rub of the green during his short stint in charge.

He added: “He didn’t really give me a chance before that game against Walsall.

“In my opinion, I do believe that he didn’t think I could make that sort of impact.

“I don’t think he was brave enough to play me and when he did, he covered his own back a little bit with those comments.”

Gibson’s style is something different, not conforming to regulation. He likes to try something different – and if the trick doesn’t pay off, he will try it again.

He puts that slightly maverick approach down to an upbringing which saw him thrown into the senior side for non-league Bromsgrove at a young age.

“I was playing men’s football at 16. Some young players can get brought up in the academy from a young age and are schooled into different things.

“I was brought up in a different environment and you see that in my game.

“I’m so direct and I like to take people on, go one v one with players.

“Some players might be safe in what they do because they’ve been brought up like that. I take quite a few risks and that’s how I am as a player.

“It’s obviously got its pros and cons. Sometimes you’ll make more mistakes than other players.

“But there’s always that different thing that can change a game.

“I like coaches who believe in young players that can make something happen and aren’t scared to try something different.

“For example, Jadon Sancho (at Borussia Dortmund) and players like that, who are just young and know what they can do. Showcase that and it comes off more times than not.

“If it doesn’t, they’ll go again and again. There’s always that one break that might come off and win the game.”

Gibson can see the door opening in the philosophy that owners Edin Rahic and Stefan Rupp are looking to develop at City.

He wants to be at the forefront of that youth-inspired attacking strategy – but knows there is plenty of hard work to be done.

Gibson said: “I’ve been told before that a big thing I need to improve on is body language and not being frustrated with myself when something doesn’t come off.

“If I get that right and think to keep going rather than trying to beat myself up, then I think that can be a big part in my improvement.

“I’m obviously settled in now and whatever head coach is appointed, I have got a full pre-season to show what I can do.

“That will help me because last year I came in when pre-season was coming to a close. I had to prove myself in that short time to get a contract.

“It’s different this time because I will be there from the first day and hope to really show what I can do in pre-season to impress the new manager.”

And, no doubt, make a point to the previous one as well.