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Development Squad

Johnson: It's a great challenge for us

Safety will be certain for the Development Squad should they beat Manchester City Under-23s tonight

15 April 2019

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Damien Johnson says his side are looking forward to the challenge of taking on Manchester City at Ewood Park on Monday night.

Rovers Under-23s play their penultimate league fixture under the Ewood lights, with free entry for all supporters.

Victory would not only secure Rovers’ survival in Premier League 2 Division 1, but it would also see them move above Manchester City in the top-flight table.

Rovers head into the game in fine form, following a 3-0 victory away to Tottenham Hotspur last time out, and Johnson knows his side will have to produce a performance of a similar standard – if not better – if they are to stand a chance of defeating the Premier League giants.

“The group is really looking forward to it,” said the former Northern Ireland international.

“It’s going to be a really tough game. Manchester City are a fantastic side, in terms of how they play.

“They play very much like their first team. They try to dominate the ball and they have some very technical players with a lot of pace.

“So it will be a big test for us and one where we will have to show the type of performance we showed against Tottenham and a bit more.

“It’s on a stage where they all want to be at – it’s fantastic for them to be back at Ewood – so we’re looking forward to that.”

With free entry on the night, Johnson hopes the game will attract a bumper crowd and is urging as many supporters as possible to come down to Ewood to back the boys.

“That would be fantastic to see,” he added. “It helps them in their development to play in front of a crowd.

“Having thousands and thousands of fans, like we had against Derby County on Tuesday night, it’s one thing that you really can’t replicate in the development league, so the more people that turn up the better and hopefully the boys can give a good account of themselves.”

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