Derby charm Boyata beats his nerves
- 20 January 2010 14:34
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
Dedryck Boyata beat his pre-match nerves to help the Blues to a Carling Cup semi-final victory - and then revealed that he has never been on the losing side in a Manchester derby.
Teenage Academy graduate Boyata was plunged in at the deep end against Wayne Rooney as City earned a 2-1 lead through former Red Carlos Tevez to take to Old Trafford next week.
Boyata, whose debut came in the FA Cup at Middlesbrough, said: "Another day, another big experience for me! Playing against United wasn't easy. I wasn't on top of my game and I'll try to do better next time.
"Coming from nothing and playing in front of all those people in a Manchester derby is really hard. I just tried to do my best.
I was really nervous. It wasn't just a semi-final, it was a Manchester derby - that's like playing in the final of the World Cup!
"I was thinking about it all night, it was hard to sleep. Rooney is probably the best striker in England. When you know that you're playing against him you're a bit nervous, but you just have to get on with it and focus.
"One of the staff told me before the game, 'if you can play against Rooney, you can play against anyone'. The pressure in future is not going to be the same as it was on Tuesday night.
Coming from nothing and playing in front of all those people in a Manchester derby is really hard. I was disappointed when I came off because after Middlesbrough, I thought I'd do better."
Manager Roberto Mancini declared the youngster had "done well" before making way for Nedum Onuoha 20 minutes from time, and Blues fans will surely want him as a lucky charm in the return leg.
Dedryck said: "I've never lost to Manchester United in four games since I came to England, and I hope it stays that way. The others were youth and reserve games - I scored for the reserves."
He saluted Vincent Kompany for helping him through the toughest night of his blossoming career: "Vincent is a hero back home, one of the best players in Belgium. I've watched him a lot. He was talking to me and helping me all the time out on the pitch."