John Stones admits 'difficult' period at Manchester City after losing starting spot

John Stones admits 'difficult' period at Manchester City after losing starting spot

The central defender has admitted that having started two of the last nine City matches has been 'difficult' for him.

Danial Kennedy

John Stones has admitted that his current situation with Manchester City has been 'difficult' for him, with the Englishman having just started two of the last nine matches for The Citizens. 

Fighting is all I can do 

After a rocky start to life at the Etihad Stadium Stones seemed to have emerged as Pep Guardiola's ideal man at the back, with the 23-year-old having been a regular starter throughout the first few months of the campaign. 

However, things seemed to have stuttered slightly since he suffered a serious hamstring injury back in November, with Guardiola preferring the combination of Vincent Kompany and Nicolás Otamendi in the last few weeks which has proven affective as well as the January signing of Aymeric Laporte. 

Stones hasn't started in the league since January 20 with his appearances coming in the defeats to Wigan and Basel, and Stones admitted though it has been "difficult" he will keep "working hard" to regain his place. 

"It's difficult," Stones admitted. "Every player wants to play week-in, week-out." 

"But I've had games here and there, I've been fighting and that's all you can do," the 23-year-old proclaimed. "Train hard, keep working hard and when your chance comes you've got to take it and that's what I've done." 

"I've had the players' backing and the manager's backing," the defender reiterated. "It's one of those things where the team's winning games and playing well, and you can't get back in just like that." 

"Still learning while I'm on the side-lines, that's a massive thing," Stones added. "It's tough, but I've got my first medal (City's Carabao Cup victory) so I can't complain."

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The offer still stands 

Despite being absent from the squad Stones has been crucial to their success thus far, with the defender been one amongst many that are going to contribute to City's expected success in the Premier League and potential in the Champions League. 

Another one of them has been Sergio Agüero who has managed 30 goals in all competitions including taking the title of City's all-time top scorer, but his performance has been no different to his last six years in the North West of England. 

Despite his legendary status the Argentine has always stated his intentions of leaving City once his contract is up for his first club Independiente, and Agüero stated that though it is still the intention in 2020 that he is focused on "finishing the season" with City. 

"I always said that I would like to return to Independiente when my contract ends with City," the striker admitted to Fox Sports Argentina. "Which is in 2020." 

"I am not thinking about that now," Agüero concluded. "I am focused on finishing the season well and reaching the World Cup."