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Development Squad

Johnson's joy after sealing survival

Rovers' victory over Manchester City means Damien Johnson's side will remain in Premier League 2's top tier next term

16 April 2019

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Safety was assured in Premier League 2 for the Development Squad last night following a comprehensive victory over Manchester City at Ewood Park.

Second half strikes from Dan Butterworth, Jack Vale and Harry Chapman sealed the three points for Damien Johnson's side against Manchester City's Under-23s, who grabbed a late consolation through Felix Nmecha's penalty.

The latest win means Johnson's charges have earned 12 victories from their last 16 outings, and the Development Squad supremo couldn't hide his delight following the three-point haul over City.

“It’s a fantastic result for us and I’m really delighted," Johnson beamed to iFollow Rovers after the game.

"Manchester City are a top side who really can ask questions of you, but I think we found the answers and I’m really pleased for the lads.

“We’ve shown discipline and quality tonight and the front three caused Man City so many problems.

“We have some talented boys at the top end of the pitch who pressed them and made life tough for the City defenders."

The result sees Rovers shoot up to sixth in the table, five points clear of the relegation zone with only one game remaining in the division.

And looking back on the campaign, Johnson feels his side have adjusted well to new surroundings after promotion to the top tier last term.

“It’s been a tough challenge for us stepping into this league and the lads were certainly asked a lot of questions, especially during the first five or six games," he admitted.

“We noticed the difference in quality and we’ve grown both as a group and individually.

“Since November or December I think we’ve been absolutely terrific.

“At the beginning of the season I think we lacked belief, but I’ve felt that since Christmas we’ve really grown and have believed in ourselves, so all credit to the lads."

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