Eric Garcia has hailed the Manchester City management team and fans, describing them as ‘class’.

The young Spanish central defender made his first senior appearance at the Etihad Stadium earlier this month, producing a cultured performance in our 9-0 Carabao Cup semi-final first leg win over Burton Albion on what was his 19th birthday.

That followed on from an equally impressive showing on what his full first team debut, in our dramatic Carabao Cup quarter-final victory at Leicester in December.

The youngster is one of the most exciting prospects to have emerged from City’s Academy and Garcia further illustrated his pedigree last Friday evening when he captained our Under-18s to an impressive 4-1 win over Nottingham Forest in our FA Youth Cup fourth round triumph.

READ: Man City U18s 4-1 Nottingham Forest | Blues impress in FA Youth Cup triumph

WATCH: Harsley on City's 'toughest' Checkatrade test yet

Garcia could well have a key role to play this week too.

City's EDS squad are preparing for a huge Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final tie away at League One high-fliers Sunderland on Tuesday evening, a game which is then followed 24 hours later by our Carabao Cup semi-final second leg trip to Burton.

And as the defender reflected back on his Etihad experience and looked forward to another big week, he was effusive in his praise for the Club’s management, players and supporters.

WATCH: Eric Garcia: 'Things couldn't be going any better'

“I was really happy to play my first game at the Etihad Stadium,” said Garcia.

 “It was an unbelievable experience - the people are really class.”

Garcia’s impressive performances for the Under-18s - as well as for the Under-19s and EDS side last season – earned the young defender a call-up to City’s first-team squad for our pre-season tour of America last summer.

READ: Which TV channel is Burton Albion v City on

WATCH: Eric Garcia | City debut was an amazing experience

Garcia made two appearances for the Blues while Stateside, including an excellent display against Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund which drew rich praise from manager Pep Guardiola.

The Spaniard was asked what he thought Pep had seen in his ability when including him in his pre-season squad in the summer.

“I don’t know for sure” Garcia added. “But when I am on the pitch I really like to speak to my team-mates because I am playing at the back so I can see everything and I think that is really important.”