Adam Johnson insists that wing commanders are an essential commodity for any would-be high flying side.
The former Middlesbrough starlet, whose career took off when he landed at City in the January transfer window, believes that the battle out wide could be the key to who wins the race for the remaining place in next season’s Champions League.
And he is determined that along with Craig Bellamy and Shaun Wright-Phillips he will get the better of Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale and David Bentley in Wednesday night’s titanic, sold out clash with fellow Champions League hopefuls Spurs.
Johnson had a boot in both first half goals in the weekend win over Villa, first luring Stephen Warnock into giving away a penalty and then cutting the ball back for Emmanuel Adebayor to score from eight yards out.
“It is great that the manager has such faith in wide players,” reckoned the 22-year-old who is making a late bid for the England squad in South Africa this summer.
You could see what can be done from wide positions against Villa. It stretches the play and keeps defenders guessing
“I won the penalty and thankfully set up the second and Craig and Shaun combined for the third. Wingers are an important weapon in most top side’s attacks.
“Look at the impact Shaun had when he came on against tired legs against Villa. He was too much for them to handle. His arrival put the game out of reach.
“I know there is a tradition of wingers here at City stretching back many, many years. I think the fans like watching players running at each other with the ball.”
Johnson is hoping to do more damage on Wednesday when the race for fourth spot in the Premier League intensifies with the visit of Tottenham.
The Blues have no new serious injury concerns and are waiting on the fitness of Gareth Barry and Stephen Ireland after the two midfielders missed out in the win over Villa.