Mancini backs youth system but ponders Boyata
- Sat 30 Jan 2010, 9:57AM
- Posted by Chris Bailey and Tim Oscroft
Roberto Mancini is pondering the right time to pull teenager Dedryck Boyata out of the fray but promising to keep giving youth its fling at City.
The Belgian youngster has made a huge impression on everyone after leap-frogging more established names and landing in the heart of the defence. Not least amongst his new admirers is the manager who entrusted him with two semi-final outings against United.
However, football wisdom says that there comes a time when a young player has to be taken out of the limelight and goes back to learning his trade.
Dedryck was lucky because when I arrived here we had a lot of players out with injuries. He joined in our training sessions, and I could see that he was a good player
...Mancini on Boyata
“I thought that he could do well for us at that time but also that he could be a good player for us for the future. He is still young, but he did very well at Old Trafford. I'm pleased with him.
“Dedryck does not have much experience now but after he has played five, seven or 10 matches he will have learned a lot and will be comfortable around other players. He has good players around him and playing at Old Trafford, against someone like Wayne Rooney or Ryan Giggs is a great way to learn for him.”
And Mancini, who has former Academy manager Andy Welsh and coach Brian Kidd on his senior staff, has an eye on more of the youngsters after blooding Greg Cunningham and Abdisalam Ibrahim in the FA Cup at Scunthorpe.
“It's important for the Academy that we have young players like Dedryck in the team, and it is good experience for the young players. They can learn from training with the rest of the team, and if they do well they will have a chance,” he promised.
“There are some other good players from the Academy and I hope we can play more of them. But what they need to remember is just because they are playing in or training with the first team that is not the end of the story just the beginning.
“Now is when it gets difficult, so they need to work hard and have the right mentality. It's important that they keep their feet on the ground. This is when you really start to learn how to be a footballer.”