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Boyata sounds the title charge

New Dedryk chelsea

New Dedryk chelsea

Dedryck Boyata is keen to reassure Blues fans that City WILL be aiming to land the Barclays Premier League title.

The teenage defender stepped in at right-back to make a big contribution to the 1-0 weekend victory that inflicted a first League defeat of the season on runaway leaders Chelsea.

Just as importantly, City's win cut the defending champions' lead in the table to just four points only hours after  Roberto Mancini identified in-form Chelsea as "probable" title winners next May.

Despite the manager's candid assessment of the resources fellow Italian Carlo Ancelotti enjoys, Dedryck has no doubt about the mood at the club when it comes to pursuing a title challenge this winter.

Boyata said: "The target is to win the title and and get into the Champions League. For that we have to stay focused. Last year we got some great results against the big teams. Now we need to do it against the other teams.

"We've not spoken about the manager's comments. He said it because he could see the way Chelsea have played from the beginning of the season. I understand what he said. But he's thinking about winning the title too."

Boyata is still a teenager but has shown no sign of nerves in high-pressure fixtures such as Saturday's and the Carling Cup semi-final derby into which trusting Mancini plunged him last season.

He said: "There is a bit of fear at first, but then you realise it is a chance to show what you can do against the best players. You have to think about what they can do, then come up with a solution to stop them.

"But I get a lot of advice from Vincent Kompany and Kolo Toure. I see them every day in training and they are like big brothers to me. They always give me help and are a great part of my life.

"And the manager has improved my game a lot with the kind of work we do with team shape. We are working hard on defending in training all the time. Hopefully we'll see the same outcome in all the games!"

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Dedryck Boyata gave a magnificent performance in the victory over Chelsea - despite not realising he was in the starting line-up even when he saw Roberto Mancini's teamsheet before the game!