Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists Adam Johnson is heeding his advice, despite the winger's complaints about a lack of first-team action.
Johnson is frustrated at his failure to force his way into Mancini's starting line-up on a regular basis even though, Carlos Tevez apart, he has been one of the Blues' major threats this term.
The Italian is convinced his £7million capture from Middlesbrough last January is learning some valuable lessons, saying; "He is listening to me. Why not? I repeat what I said one week ago, one month ago and when we bought him. Adam has everything needed to do his job very well."
The irritation is compounded by the fact Johnson is now an established figure in Fabio Capello's England squad and made another 45-minute appearance in Wednesday's defeat to France.
"He must play well and work hard," Mancini added. "He is a good player, but he is young and can improve a lot.
"Every manager can say these things. When you play football you must have a good private life. You must work very hard if you want to become a strong player."
Mancini wants Johnson around because he feels the winger can be an integral member of a team that reaches the Champions League and ends City's 35-year wait for a trophy next year.
It is a conviction he highlighted ahead of Sunday's encounter with Fulham, when it was pointed out his record is very similar to that of predecessor Mark Hughes, who was sacked to make way for Mancini 11 months ago.
"We are in fourth position, three points behind United, but we must check at the end of the season," Mancini added.
"At the end of the season I think we will get into the Champions League and probably we will win something. This is my opinion because I believe we have improved a lot."
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