Man City boss Pearce praise Johnson

Pearce said: “I’m not afraid to hold my hand up at times and say that I’ve got things wrong at times. Maybe I should have pushed Michael a bit sooner and a bit quicker this season than I have, especially by looking at his performance against Middlesbrough.

“I’ll be the first to admit that, but he wasn’t even in the squad to travel to Middlesbrough until Stevie Ireland pulled out. Equally, I’m not afraid to put someone who wasn’t in the squad straight into the team if I feel it will benefit us.”

Pearce also told City’s website: “When kids get the opportunity they have got to take it with both hands, and Michael did that. He’s a strong character, and I was very pleased and proud about his performance on Saturday.

“He’s a very mature 19-year-old, there’s no doubt about that and it strikes everyone about him. He’ll be thinking about the England Under 19 game this week, and being involved for our game at Newcastle in a couple of weeks.”