Boyata prepared to be patient
Manchester City defender Dedryck Boyata is in no hurry to gatecrash Roberto Mancini's first team on a regular basis. Just as he was against Manchester United last term, Boyata was handed a surprise start by Roberto Mancini in Saturday's excellent Premier League win over Chelsea. The 19-year-old refused to be overawed by the demands being placed upon him, even though he was facing players he regards as his idols. Having performed so well, Boyata could realistically expect to retain his place. However, with Jerome Boateng and Joleon Lescott nearing full fitness and both Wayne Bridge and Aleksandar Kolarov to rejoin Mancini's squad at some stage over the next couple of months, the young Belgian accepts it might not be quite that easy. But there is no way he will be banging on Mancini's door demanding answers - he is having too much fun and learning far too many lessons for that. "I am not in a hurry," he said. "I need to stay patient and I will wait for my chance. "It is not a case of having a number of appearances in my mind for this season. "Around me there are a lot of experienced players. I need to recognise that. "Also, I am training with them every day and gaining experience all the time. "As long as I can continue to do that, I am not even thinking about the number of appearances I will make." Boyata benefited from the presence of Vincent Kompany and Kolo Toure alongside him on Saturday. Although Mancini has been loath to single out individuals for praise, rarely during his entire time in England has Didier Drogba been out muscled in the manner he was by Kompany. "We have other good defenders but Kolo and Vincent are very strong at the moment," emphasised Mancini. "We have only conceded two goals in six games - one penalty and one gift against Blackburn. That is very good." That statistic alone suggests City have to be ranked amongst the Premier League title challengers. Yet Mancini insists the championship with end up at Chelsea with some ease. Not everyone agrees. And it seems one of the lessons Boyata has learned is not to take everything his manager says at face value. "We have not spoken about the manager's comments inside the dressing room but he probably said it because he could see the way Chelsea had played from the beginning of the season," he said. "I understand that. But it doesn't matter what he says. In his mind he is thinking about winning the title too." Meanwhile, Mancini is debating whether to hand Boateng his first City start in Thursday's Europa League tie with Juventus at Eastlands. Boateng finally made his debut as a late substitute against Chelsea after an injury-plagued start to life with the Blues. The 22-year-old £10.4million signing from Hamburg was due to make a late return for pre-season training anyway after starring in Germany's run to the World Cup semi-finals. But he aggravated a knee injury in a bizarre collision with an in-flight meals trolley last month, condemning him to a further period of rehabilitation. Only last week was Boateng able to join the City squad in training and he was far from fully fit on Saturday, meaning Mancini preferred to use him off the bench. However, with Juventus due in Manchester later this week and then Newcastle on Sunday, the Blues boss is deciding what route to take next. "Maybe Boateng will get a start," said Mancini. "He needs to take things very softly because I don't think he is quite ready yet. He needs to work and train."
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