Brian Kidd believes Manchester City midfielder Michael Johnson is close to being in a position to push for a place in the first team.
Johnson has made just two appearances for City since September 2008 after being struck down by a succession of injuries.
However, he is stepping up his bid for a senior comeback and has recently been linked with loan moves to Championship rivals Leeds United and Leicester City.
The 22-year-old has also suggested he would benefit from a temporary switch away from City and assistant manager Kidd has been impressed by Johnson's progress in recent weeks.
"Michael has had a tough time but has come on leaps and bounds in the last two weeks," revealed Kidd.
"He has done really well and the next couple of weeks will be interesting.
"I was at the reserve game against Bury and he was terrific. He is looking really good in training as well.
"What he is looking for now are the games which will give him a quickness you can't really get from training."