Cairney tipped for the top

Tigers veteran backing youngster to shine

Cairney: Backed by Boateng

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Hull City veteran George Boateng believes Tom Cairney can go all the way to the top providing he stays grounded.

The 19-year-old has impressed in his first two Premier League fixtures, winning praise for his ability to handle the pressure of the big occasion.

The former Leeds trainee is expected to line up alongside Boateng for the visit of Manchester City and the Dutchman likes his attributes.

Boateng insists Cairney is a player he can trust and sees no reason why he cannot continue to develop providing he keeps his feet on the ground.

Trust

"He's my boy, I like him a lot," Boateng told the Hull Daily Mail.

"What pleases me is that when I give him the ball, I can trust him with it. In the middle of the park there is nothing more valuable than that.

"Tom is a player who is going to get a lot of publicity in the next few weeks from the press and from our fans.

"I hope he stays grounded because he's a tremendous talent and if he works on his game, he'll be an England international - he's that good."

Boateng aims to mentor the youngster, like he was by Dutch legend Ronald Koeman, with the hope that one day the midfielder might go on and play for England.

Mentor

"I played with Ronald Koeman and he was my mentor," he continued.

"Many years before I played with him I was a ball boy at the European Cup Winners' Cup in Rotterdam (1991) when Barcelona played Manchester United.

"I loved him and he coached me all the time. It helps you so much when you've got a player like that.

"In the future I want to be sat at home and say to my kids 'You see that boy wearing the England shirt? I played with him'.

"I like players like Tom who are still grounded and he's a joy to play with. That would be a very proud moment for me."