BOAZ Myhill admits he is playing for playground pride as well as three points in tonight’s Hawthorns derby with his former club Villa (ko 8pm).
The Baggies goalkeeper has been in fine form since taking over between the sticks from the injured Ben Foster (foot) more than ten weeks ago.
He will be looking to record a fourth clean sheet in his last eight games against the club he started his career with, so he can return to his children’s school with his head held high.
“It’s about the fans," said Myhill.
"Like any derby it’s massive for the fans.
“The players want to win for the points but it’s about the people who are going to work around the city.
“I’ve got a lot of friends with children at the same school as mine who remind me about it all the time and have been going on about it for months.
“It means a lot to people in the area so you have to make sure you give a good account of yourself as a player and a club - we want to win.”
The Wales international came through the youth ranks at Villa Park before sealing a permanent move to Hull in 2003.
“I will always be grateful to Aston Villa,” he added.
“The youth system there is churning out quite a few players for them and other clubs in the league, which is credit to them.
“It’s a special game for me to play in.
“I never managed to make a senior appearance for Villa but I was there for a long time and it will be a great occasion to play in that game.
“You don’t know it at the time but as an apprentice it’s the best time in your life.
“You have left home and gone to a new environment.
“I was from a little village and ended up living in a city like this.
“It’s brilliant for a number of different reasons and there are a lot of my friends from that youth team dotted around the leagues that it’s great to play against.
“It was a good education.”
Myhill watched from the bench as the Baggies came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with the Villains at The Hawthorns last term.
He was impressed with hitman Christian Benteke that night as he opened the scoring and is now relishing the chance of stopping the big Belgian.
“A lot of derby games end up like that,” he said.
“People hate to lose but that was last season and this is this season.
“I remember the home game being a closely-fought game and it was the first time I’d seen Benteke play and I was really impressed with him.
“They’ve got a lot of good players and we’ve got to deal with them and try to impose ourselves on them because we’re at our home ground.”
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