Middlesbrough’s former City Academy graduate Adam Clayton admits he can’t wait to play against the team he still supports.
Clayton left the Blues in 2010 and has spells with Carlisle, Leeds United, Peterborough United, MK Dons and Huddersfield before joining Boro last season.
He joined City aged seven and remained with the Club for 12 years, though never played for the first team despite making the bench on a couple of occasions.
He is facing the Blues for the first time at senior level and he admits he will have to put his support to one side for 90 minutes on Saturday.
“I grew up as a City fan too but you have to put all that aside and I’ll be hoping to come to the Etihad and get a result for Boro.
The house I grew up in was 10 minutes from Maine Road and it’s no secret I grew up supporting City
“I signed for City quite early. I was only seven years old when I joined the Academy so my allegiance went that way, much to my dad’s disappointment - he is a Man. United fan.
“I went to watch them every week. I think I went eight or nine years without missing a single home game.”
“My mum is a massive, massive City fan so it will be a strange day for her.”
Clayton says most of the players he was friends with at City have now moved on with only Joe Hart remaining from his time with the Club.
“It’s a completely different club now to the one I joined as a kid,” he said. “There’s no-one there I know player-wise except maybe Joe.
“City’s whole profile has changed. They are a huge, club now and they play in the Champions League
“We are going to go there to play in a great stadium on a great pitch and try and enjoy ourselves and give a good account of ourselves like we did at Liverpool earlier in the season and try our very best to get a result.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve played in the stadium loads of times for the youth and the reserve teams but to play in a top class game in front of 40,000–plus will be special.
“And not just for me as a City fan but for Boro as a club and for all the lads and the fans too. It will be a great challenge.
“It will be fantastic for us to test ourselves against the reigning champions. That’s what you want to do as a footballer, you want to play against the best and prove yourselves.”