Major League Soccer

Ex-Man Utd defender Tyler Blackett reflects on FC Cincinnati debut

Chris Smith
Tyler Blackett finally returned from groin surgery on Saturday.
Tyler Blackett finally returned from groin surgery on Saturday. / Albert Cesare / The Enquirer via Imagn

Former Manchester United centre-back Tyler Blackett has revealed his happiness at returning to fitness and making his FC Cincinnati debut.

The 27-year-old made 12 appearances for the Red Devils during the 2014/15 Premier League season while he also had loan spells with Celtic, Blackpool and Birmingham City.

Blackett then enjoyed a 122-game spell at Reading before reuniting with his former Royals manager Jaap Stam at Cincinnati in August, following a brief stop with Nottingham Forest.

But Blackett has been sidelined since moving to Ohio due to suffering a groin surgery.

The defender finally made his debut for the Orange and Blue on Saturday, replacing Geoff Cameron in the 77th minute of a 2-1 defeat to NYCFC.

“To be honest I’m happy for myself in terms of getting back to full fitness, well, near enough full fitness and being involved with the team and getting on the pitch," Blackett told reporters after the match.

"As a team, I would like for us to be playing better and performing better but we have to do it as a team and in the training. But I’m here now and I’m excited to continue with the team and hopefully get some better results.”

Cincinnati took an early lead through Brazilian striker Brenner before Keaton Parks and Taty Castellanos fired NYCFC into the lead. Two late red cards for Alvaro Barreal and Isaac Atanga ended any hopes of a comeback for Stam's side.

But Blackett saw enough from his teammates to suggest they could have won the match, with Cincinnati attempting nine shots on the night.

“When we look back at the chances that we had, disallowed goals and hitting the posts, the 'keeper making some saves, I think we had enough to possibly win the game," he added. "Sometimes it doesn’t fall for you in that way. We have to look at ourselves and we have to look at the gameplan and what we know we can do.”

This latest defeat leaves Cincinnati 13th in the Eastern Conference. Next up for Stam's side is a trip to DC United on Saturday.