"Sheffield United will always have a special place in my heart" - Manchester City's Tommy Doyle
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The midfielder, on loan from the reigning Premier League champions, made the admission after producing a moment of brilliance to settle a breathless FA Cup quarter-final against Blackburn Rovers and put Paul Heckingbottom’s team on the road to Wembley.
After a Sam Gallagher own goal and second-half strike by Oli McBurnie saw United twice come from behind against the visitors from Lancashire, Doyle’s stunning long-range finish seconds into added time sparked pandemonium inside Bramall Lane. Coming four days after his commanding performance during their crucial victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, the England under-21 international is fast becoming a pivotal member of a squad chasing glory on two fronts as it also attempts to win automatic promotion from the second tier.
“One hundred percent,” Doyle told The Star, when asked what United now means to him. “This place is always going to be special to me, it’s always going to have a special place in my heart. I’ve said that to my dad many times and it’s not over yet.”
“I’ve always been emotionally invested in football,” he continued. “And when you are at a club which gives you that back, when the fans are so brilliant with you, how can you not become attached and buy into it? You can’t. It’s that simple. We are making memories together. All of us. Now we want to make some more.”
Together with James McAtee, who also started the meeting with Rovers, Doyle joined United on a season-long agreement last summer after being granted permission to continue his development away from the Etihad Stadium. Both his grandfathers, Mike and Glyn Pardoe, helped City lift the trophy in 1969 following a 1-0 victory over Leicester City.
Describing the scenes inside United’s dressing room afterwards, Doyle said: “Everyone is in this together here that’s what enabled us to fight back. That’s why we’ve got the bond we have and things like this just make that connection even tighter.”