Northern Ireland

Paddy McNair praised by Man Utd teammates after debut match

Paddy McNair Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Paddy McNair in action for Manchester United's under-21 team earlier this month

Northern Irish teenager, Paddy McNair, was praised for his role defending Manchester United's 2-1 lead against West Ham after the team went to 10 men.

The 19-year-old was called up from the under-21 team to play alongside £27m signing Luke Shaw for his premiership debut.

Teammate Juan Manuel Mata Garcia blogged after the game that: "Paddy has a bright future ahead."

His family travelled from Antrim to Old Trafford to watch the game.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal picked McNair for the starting line-up after his selection choices were limited by injuries to first team players Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans, and by the suspension of Tyler Blackett.

He picked the Antrim teenager to join the starting line-up.

Wayne Rooney's sending off in the 58th minute put extra pressure on Manchester's defence, but neither teams conceded any further goals.

'Bright future'

Writing on his blog, Manchester United teammate Mata said: "It was unforgettable for Paddy McNair. Making a debut with Manchester United in Old Trafford being just 19 is amazing, and I am sure he will always remember this day.

"It's good for the young players to see that they can fit in the first team. It has always happened in this club and it's a good tradition to keep. It's good for the young players to see that they can fit in the first team.

"In my opinion, Paddy has a bright future ahead."

"Living the dream"

McNair was first spotted by Lisburn scouts Eddie and Tony Coulter, who were also responsible for recommending David Healy, Keith Gillespie, Darron Gibson and Jonny Evans to Manchester United.

At the time, the 12-year-old was playing midfield for the Ballycare Colts.

Speaking before the match, Paddy's mother said: "He's living the dream alright.

"This is what he's really wanted to do since primary school."

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