Johnno thanks fans
- Wed 30 Sep 2009, 3:42PM
- Posted byChris Bailey
Proud Mancunian Michael Johnson admits he is ‘mad for it’ after experiencing the heat of battle for the first time in more than a year.
The Blues midfielder, tipped as an England certainty before being cruelly struck down by a stubborn injury, came on as a second half substitute in the win over West Ham United on Monday and then followed that up with a forty-five minute stint for the reserves.
They were the first baby steps on what Johnson admits will be a long road to recovery but his appetite is ferocious and was only whetted further by the reception he received from the Blues faithful on Monday night.
“It was great to get back it has been too long and the fans were wonderful with me from the moment I warmed up to when I got on the pitch,” exclaimed the delighted 21-year-old.
I felt really good and it was like being back home. I really appreciate the support and thank them for it.
"I think I am the only Manchester born lad in the squad at the moment so perhaps there is a special bond but City fans have always cherished their own and it was a special moment.”
Although now back in training Johnson is still a long way off full fitness but at least he is no longer suffering debilitating discomfort when training.
“Until recently I have could not remember when the last time I had been pain free,” he mused.
“I recently visited Muller-Wohlfahrt in Munich and he has fixed me and though I am nowhere near fit yet in terms of matches I am able to get through work and games without pain. That is fantastic.
“I stayed a week in Germany and had a course of injections into my back and spine. I don’t know what he put in there but it worked!”
Despite all the angst, stalled comebacks and false dawns, Johnson says he never once feared that a cure would not be found.
Indeed, if (Johnson) can recover his fitness and break into the side, he could have a similar impact that we saw Stephen Ireland have during 2008/09.
...Danny Pugsley on the Bitter and Blue blog...
“I never felt like I wouldn’t come back but the whole absence has toughened me up mentally and that will serve me in good stead because as much as this game is about fitness and skill you need to be mentally attuned too. The worst thing about being out for so long is that it erodes your confidence and that is what I need to build up,” he asserted.
“I am still a young lad and I now appreciate more than ever what I have got. I am so keen to get back because playing football is the best thing in the world.
“There have been loads of changes while I have been out and I have gone from being a mid-table side to being genuine contenders for honours which is the aim.
Watching things evolve has been inspiring. I want to be part of a team that is competing for the title and with that comes the challenge of just winning a place in the side.
“Gareth Barry, Nigel de Jong and Stephen Ireland are all top class international players and there is still Vinnie Kompany to come back too so am I well aware of the challenges that are ahead of me.
"But that is in the future.For now my aim is to get physically fit and this week has been part of that. The reserve game was tough against a good Liverpool side but I got forty-five minutes in. I hope people don’t expect too much too soon. I have a year of not playing and I am just glad to get out on a pitch and get running around.”