Michael was one of the few highlights (besides Gio) in a poor 1995/96 season. The youngster played well in his midfield role, never giving anything away for free, and often jumping into battle whenever he could. This also meant a sending off in his debut for the blues. A rather harsh desicion after some shirt-pulling. This was not a very good period for City, and Brown got many opportunities to show his skills, making 21 appearances in his first season. In april 1996, Michael made his debut for the England U21 against Croatia, and in May he was called up to play in the annual Toulon Tournament. At the same time he was also presented with the young player of the year award for 1995/96.
After a promising start of his career, Michael was ready to continue to serve City, but a contract dispute with former manager Ball, casted him back into the reserves. A few calls from other clubs were turned down, and after a lengthy spell out of the limelight, he finally settled on a new contract. With only 11 league-games that season he accepted a loan-period with Hartlepool to gain more experience towards the end of the season.
The 1997-98 season meant lots of in and out experiences for the young midfielder, but it was a nice bonus for him to be presented with the Player of the Year award at the end of the season. In the following 2nd division campaign Michael semented his place in the team on behalf of Pollock and the Whitley brothers. With 33 games under his belt he looked forward to the the next season with optimism. But the manager seemed to prefer Jeff Whitley in the centre, and the introduction of Mark Kennedy on the left wing pushed Kevin Horlock into the middle, making the battle for a place in midfield even harder. So the puzzled Michael found himself out of favour. But injuries or a bad league-run could help him get back into the team in no time.
During the successful division 1 campaign Michael didn't find his way into the squad, and the arrivals of Mark Kennedy and Tony Grant pushed him further out of the picture. Following a couple of loan periods to Portsmouth and Sheffield United, he accepted a wage-cut and joined Sheffield United. City recieved £400,000 for the home-bred midfielder who recieved the honour "player of the year" only two seasons earlier. At Sheffield United Michael soon established himself in a centre midfield position and after a good series of performances he almost helped United back into the Premiserhip only to get beaten by Ipswich in the Play-off final. In January 2004 he became a Bosman player and signed up for Premiserhip action with Tottenham Hotspur.