Kevin De Bruyne led Man City to a crucial win at Etihad that saw his side jump to fourth position in the league table; albeit only temporarily. Additionally, Pep Guardiola’s men managed to keep a clean sheet once again, courtesy of the centre-back pairing of Ruben Dias and John Stones.
Following the match, Stones spoke with BT Sport and reflected on his team’s performance. He insisted that every player in the Man City squad is fighting for their place, regardless of their position.
Stones also talked about the squad’s forwards and their struggles with converting their chances. That said, Stones believes that the three points are massive for Man City and was happy to be a crucial part of the win against Fulham.
“It’s always the same; the manager demands a lot from us and expects a lot from us. We’re all fighting for our places on the team, no matter what position. When we get our chance, we’ve got to take it. It gives us good healthy competition, the winning spirit, the demands; we know what is expected of us when we’re out on the pitch.”
“If we don’t deliver someone else is always fighting for that spot. I think that’s what’s done us well in the last four, five years. Everyone has high standards and tries to keep them there. That’s what the manager wants and demands for us.”
The defender went on to say, “Every game we could always score more and we are frustrated with ourselves but it’s good to just get three points and the lads upfront will be frustrated they haven’t taken their chances. It’s something we can learn on and improve on for the next game.”
Stones also talked about the pre-match conversation in the locker room that motivated his teammates to strive hard for a win.
“I said before the game to the lads it’s another step forward, another chance for us to put a mark on the season, take it game by game and see where it takes us. We’re focussed on each game, this one today we did and come through with three points. Before the game everyone’s words worked and that transpired on pitch. We’ve got to keep this run going and winning mentality for every game we play.”
“We said after the Champions League game, another clean sheet that the boys got out there. We wanted to keep that run going. Today’s a tough opponent, we did a few days work on after the game in Porto. We knew what we were up against and set out from the start to keep this winning streak going, keep these clean sheets going as well”, concluded Stones.
Stones helped to secure the third consecutive clean sheet for City. The club’s fans have hailed Stones’ resurgence in recent weeks, and are hopeful of a consistent season from the 26-year-old defender. It will be interesting to see what’s in store for him as City prepare to face Marseille on Wednesday and Manchester United at the weekend.
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