Johnson rewarded for good form with England U-21 call up

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The Independent Football

The Manchester City midfielder Michael Johnson has been included in the England Under-21 squad for the Euro 2009 qualifiers against Montenegro and Republic of Ireland.

The 19-year-old, who has enjoyed an impressive start to the season in the Premier League, was out with a groin strain when Stuart Pearce's youngsters opened their campaign with two wins last month.

"We need to capitalise on the two games coming up," said Pearce. "The two results out in Montenegro and Bulgaria were very good, we couldn't ask for any more from the players.

"But it just goes to show the mark of the group, we feel that we have picked up two very good results away from home, but we're not top of the group."

The Under-21s face Montenegro next Friday at the Walkers Stadium in Leicester before travelling to Cork the following Tuesday.

Billy Jones from Preston has earned his first call-up and Birmingham striker Cameron Jerome has been brought back into the squad.