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STERN JOHN began his Sky Blues rehabilitation last night with a scoring return in the reserves' 3-1 win against Crystal Palace.

And the Trinidad & Tobago striker's 65-minute contribution at a bitterly cold Butlin Road received a warm vote of approval from manager Micky Adams.

"He scored a good goal and I thought his performance was spot on," said Adams.

"It's important that when senior professionals like him go into the reserves they show the right attitude. They've got to be mindful of the fact that there's a lot of youngsters out there that are very impressionable, and Stern did that."

John rejoined City on Friday after a disappointing loan spell at Derby County but did not make the bench for Monday night's 1-0 win at Queens Park Rangers.

"He didn't play many games of football in his three months at Derby," explained Adams, "so we felt it would benefit him to do some training and have a run-out with the reserves before assessing it again.

"He hoped to do better at Derby but that didn't happen and now he's looking forward to playing for the club again.

"It's up to him to try to force his way into our team, but that's going to be difficult for him because we've won the last three games."