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Mixed fortunes for City's loan stars

A slightly reduced loan watch this week as Europe’s top leagues all took a week-long hiatus for the international break.

However, there is some League One action to report, starting with Jordy Hiwula who continues to impress on loan at Walsall. The striker couldn’t prevent his side from going down 1-0 to a late Chesterfield strike at the weekend, but his manager Dean Smith is keen to extend his stay past 6 April and possibly into next season after a series of positive all-round displays for the club.

Smith told the Express and Star: "Jordy has done really well since he came in. He came here off the back of a loan spell with Yeovil that didn't go as well as he would have liked.

"But since he joined us he has really found his feet and done a great job for us. He is a young lad and it was just a case of him finding a team and a club where he could play and score."

Jordy has scored four to date for the League One outfit and will hope to add to his tally before the conclusion of his loan.

Elsewhere in the same division, Greg Leigh continued his regular starting role for Crewe Alexandra, helping them to a crucial 2-1 victory away at Sheffield United.

A last minute winner stole the points for the Railwaymen who now move two points clear of the drop zone.

First experience at Bramall Lane and to win there today was unreal! Quality performance from the team to get the 3 points! ⚽️👌#cafc

— greg Leigh (@gregleigh_) March 28, 2015

George Evans started and was on the field for the first 77 minutes as Scunthorpe drew 2-2 with Notts County to leave both locked in the relegation battle.

The midfielder has missed just one game since joining the Iron and has played in a variety of positions across midfield as he looks to hone his skills in the professional game.

There was no League One fixture for MK Dons, but there were some words of praise for Devante Cole from his boss, Karl Robinson.

Cole has struggled for goals in recent weeks, but Robinson has urged patience and reckons he has a “top player” on his hands.

Said Robinson: “He’s just having one of those moments that all strikers go through.

“But don’t forget how young he is. He’s only 19, he’s still so young. People expect him to be a top striker, but he’s a later developer.

“He’ll play at the highest level, and people need to be patient, and give him the time, the warmth and love we give young players. He’ll come good, he’s a top player.”

Shay Facey missed New York City FC’s first defeat of the maiden campaign through suspension. After his red card last time out he was forced to watch from the stands as his side succumbed to a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City.

The Scottish Premier League took a break this week but recent performances as part of Celtic’s rear guard earned Jason Denayer a call-up to the Belgium senior squad.

He was an unused substitute for the 5-0 demolition of Cyprus on Saturday night, but could feature in the European Championship qualifier against Israel on Tuesday. The Red Devils are looking to make up ground on group leaders Wales as they chase qualification for the 2016 finals.

The defender is delighted with his progress north of the border so far, and explained his pride at being given the chance to represent his country at international level.

Jason told Celtic View: “At the start it was a bit strange because I came from the reserves at Manchester City and it’s different to playing for the first-team.

“But I have taken my chance and I’m happy to start every game now.

“I’m also happy because it’s my objective to be selected for my country so I’m very happy to go with the team.

“I’m very proud to represent my country and my family are very happy too. It means I can go home and see them and they can come and watch the game and things like that.”

Meanwhile, Celtic teammate John Guidetti was an unused sub for Sweden u21s as they triumphed 1-0 in a closely-fought encounter with Serbia.

His side are preparing for the summer finals, and Guidetti is confident of a strong showing.

He told UEFA.com: "It's going to be tough, but we can do it. [In the play-offs] we beat France, the U20 world champions with amazing players. We lost 2-0 away and then won 4-1 at home, so everything is possible."

"We have some players that are fantastic prospects and we have a great group. The team always beats the individual and our team is very strong."

Another City man preparing for the u21 Euros this summer is Marcos Lopes, part of Portugal’s squad. He played the first 45 minutes against Denmark this week, and will serve his suspension for Lille when Ligue 1 resumes at the weekend.

Karim Rekik is part of the Netherlands u21 squad to face France on Monday night.

There was no action this week for Seko Fofana, Scott Sinclair, Micah Richards, Alvaro Negredo, Bruno Zuculini or Chidiebere Nwakali, who await the resumption of their domestic leagues.

In Scandinavia, the new term is just about ready to kick off, and Godsway Donyoh (Falkenberg) and Bismark Boateng (Stromsgodset) will be eagerly awaiting the dawn of the 2015 season next weekend.

Sinan Bytyqi continues his rehab from a cruciate injury. 

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