Boyata's blues turn to joy
Teenage defender Dedryk Boyata has put his Christmas blues firmly behind him after making his Man City debut.
Last Updated: 03/01/10 4:29pm
Teenage defender Dedryk Boyata has put his Christmas blues firmly behind him after making his Manchester City debut.
The 18-year-old was handed his first senior start in the 1-0 FA Cup third round win at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
It was the perfect compensation for the youngster after the disappointment of missing a family Christmas back in Belgium.
The Belgium Under 21 international 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 have 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 have played. I spoke to my dad right after the game and they are all delighted for me."
Boyata thought his performance had been "okay", telling the club's official website: "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 focused, but once we kicked off I was fine.
"I think it went pretty well. We won the game and I think I did okay, but I'm not too sure!"
Boss Roberto Mancini was delighted with the youngster's contribution on his big day.
He said: "We have many defenders and midfielders injured and have seen him in the past few days.
"He is a good player, he is a young player, but he has a good future. He played very well."