Taylor Harwood-Bellis wants his partnership with Eric Garcia to grow for Manchester City after the two youngsters impressed in this week's Carabao Cup win at Oxford.
Harwood-Bellis, 17, and 18-year-old Garcia were named in central defence together for the second time this season as City beat Oxford 3-1 to set up a semi-final with Man United.
The two defenders have been called upon this season to cover for injuries to Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi at various points throughout the campaign. Both started together in the Carabao Cup win at Preston, and resumed their partnership at Oxford this week. They are also first choice for City at U23 and U19 level.
Reflecting on their difficult test against a gutsy Oxford side, Harwood-Bellis said City responded well to conceding early in the second half.
"They were tough to play against when they come at you quick with their pressing, fans getting behind them, it was tough to defend against," he told ManCity.com.
"But the lads dealt with it well, only conceded the one goal which was disappointing but that's what happens in football and you've got to bounce back which the lads did excellently getting the two goals. We showed our class tonight and the professionalism to defend."
The two youngsters impressed again at the back against an Oxford attack who registered 18 attempts on goal - more than any other club City have faced under Pep Guardiola.
And Harwood-Bellis credited Garcia for his mentality as he hinted he hopes for the pair to develop their partnership for City in the future.
"Eric's a brilliant footballer," Harwood-Bellis explained.
"He's got a 25-year-old head on so he's so clear. He'll talk to me and help me out, and that's what he's there for. I'll help him out if he needs help. We just bounce off eachother so hopefully we can be good in the future as well."