Boyata's belated Christmas present
- Sat 02 Jan 2010, 6:24PM
- Posted byTim Oscroft
Missing a family Christmas was worth it for Dedryck Boyata after the young defender made his City debut in Saturday's win over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.
The Belgian under 21 international had been on the bench for the previous two games, but he turned in an assured performance as City shut out their opponents for the third straight game.
The Academy graduate, the 28th player to play for the City first team having started at Platt Lane, was due to spend the festive season with his family in Belgium but he revealed that a last-minute call into the senior squad meant that a trip home was put on the back burner.
He said, "I was due to fly home on Christmas Eve, but then I was told I had to stay back to train so I was a bit upset at first. But I've been training with some fantastic players every day since, and now to make my debut is a fantastic feeling.
"I did not have the chance to ring anyone before the game, and I did not really want to hear them at that point but I made sure I texted them so all my family know I've played. I spoke to my dad right after the game and they are all delighted for me."
Despite being in the squad for the last two games, the call into the side still came as a surprise to the 19-year-old, who added:
"The Manager took the defence in training during the week, and when he called me over I was really shocked. I could not quite believe I would be in the team, and I did not want to really believe it until today. I only saw my name on the team sheet two hours before kick off, and I was a bit stressed for a while but once the game started that went away and I was fine.
"All the lads just told me to play the way I do in training, so it was not too difficult to make the step up. I just kept telling myself to stay focussed, but once we kicked off I was fine.
"I think it went pretty well, we won the game and I think I did OK, but I'm not too sure! I had had fantastic support from my team mates so I'm really happy."