Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Saturday June 27 2009
Michael Johnson, one of the forgotten men of City's squad is on the comeback trail and striving to be fit for next season...
City badly missed the MCFC Academy graduate's box to box running and drive during the last campaign. When he did make the starting XI he was a pale shadow of the player who had rocketed to the brink of stardom the previous year or so.
Abdominal muscle problems have blighted the 21 year old's chances of becoming a regular under Mark Hughes's leadership. This will have been all the more frustrating for him as he knows that under City's new ownership, Academy lads will always get the nod to blend with top international signings if they are good enough. One of the main aims of Sheikh Mansour is for City to create our own superstars.
Having already tasted top flight football with aplomb, it's clear Johnno wants to get back in amongst it:
'Going from playing every week to being out of the side so suddenly has been soul-destroying. I have had to try and stay focused and keep calm, even though it has been tough at times.
'It is such an exciting time to be at Manchester City and I have not been able to be part of it. It is very frustrating.'
Rumours have been knocking around town for some time that the player had lost the plot, become too big for his boots or become some sort of playboy. Whatever those allegations may have been, if City can get this lad back on track and firing the Blues' increasingly strong looking squad will be all the more competitive for it.
As a deadwood clear out looms, Johnno will know that he has to hit the ground running this summer in order to avoid slipping under the axe that is hovvering over a dozen senior squad players.
'...I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now because I am confident we have got to the root of the problem.
'I have been working really hard and hopefully now I can remain injury-free.
'There are so many high-quality players at the club now, you simply cannot afford to be injured.'
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Date:Saturday June 27 2009
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