Boyata highlights Vieira value
Youngster Dedryck Boyata has stressed the value of having Patrick Vieira in the Man City squad.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 04/04/11 3:34pm
Young defender Dedryck Boyata has stressed the value of having Patrick Vieira in the Manchester City squad.
Vieira was Roberto Mancini's first signing in January 2010, arriving on a free transfer from Inter Milan.
And although the 34-year-old midfielder did enough to earn a new one-year deal, he was always going to be a bit-part player this season.
The French veteran came off the bench to score with his first touch in Sunday's 5-0 win over Sunderland.
And Boyata feels the way the City players celebrated shows that Vieira's contribution runs far deeper than what he does on the field.
"We have a big atmosphere in the dressing room and Patrick is one of those who makes us laugh a lot," he told the Manchester Evening News.
"To see him scoring, everyone jumped on him. There was no particular point, but everyone was happy.
"He is such an important figure. He is the veteran in the dressing room, the one you can ask questions and tells you what to do when you don't know."
With Micah Richards, Jerome Boateng and Pablo Zabaleta all unavailable, Boyata was brought in for just his third Premier League appearance of the season on Sunday.
Although Zabaleta is set to arrive back at Eastlands following compassionate leave, Boyata could keep his place for next Monday's trip to Liverpool.
And the 20-year-old Belgian is confident he will not let Mancini down having played in crucial games against Chelsea and Arsenal earlier in the campaign, along with both legs of last season's epic Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester United.
"The gaffer has shown faith in me as I have played a lot of big games," he added.
"But in this situation we don't have many choices, so I had to show him I could handle it. I want to show him he can use me in any game."