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First Team News

Video 1 Gallery

De Jong in derby mood

Nigel De Jong celebrates 0809

Nigel De Jong celebrates 0809

Sunday's derby should see Nigel de Jong make his first appearance against our cross-city rivals, but the midfielder knows all about what the game means to this club and its fans.

The 24-year-old Dutch international has been a regular pick since his transfer from Hamburg in January, and he is relishing the prospect of a white-hot atmosphere at Old Trafford.

The impact of last season's first win for the Blues on their opponents' home turf in 34 years clearly made ripples far and wide, as Nigel says,

"We won there for the first time in a long time last year and lightning does strike twice. I watched last season’s match on television and know what a huge impact it had in Manchester, so it would be nice to repeat that.

"For me this is one of the biggest derbies in the world, I have been aware of it since I was a kid and now I am part of it, I understand how special it is to the supporters and local people in Manchester – most of who are Blues!
           
"We have been playing well recently but we will have to step up our game another notch at Old Trafford on Sunday. We both need to win the game for different reasons and it should be a great contest".

Old Trafford will be another stadium for Nigel to tick off as his career in England picks up steam, but he has already noticed and enjoyed the intensity at every ground he has played in.

"The atmosphere in the stadium will be intense and that is the way you should like it as a professional" he continues, "it should help bring the best out of everyone.

"It is one of the things I have noticed most about the Premier League, it doesn’t matter whether you go to the top side or the one in 18th, 19th or 20th position the passion and fervour is always there.

"It was the same in Germany with Hamburg as City fans know from trips there and to Schalke. It makes you want to perform and try to show the fans in the stadium and the watching world what you are capable of. Old Trafford has to be one of the ultimate stages on which to perform and one of the most satisfying to come away from with a win."

There's not just local bragging right at stake for Nigel, who is also keen to put one over on a fellow countryman likely to be doing his best to stop City on Sunday.

"It would be great to put one over too on my international colleague Edwin Van der Sar. I'm sure there will be a bit of banter in the days leading up to the game", concludes Nigel.

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