Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala has stated that he has been learning "every day" under coach Pep Guardiola, with the Frenchman expected to a regular first-team place after the long-term injury to John Stones.
Must try and take opportunities when they come along
It certainly hasn't been the City career that Mangala will have envisioned when he made his big-money move from Porto back in 2014, despite playing a number of games in the following two seasons he failed to impress enough for Guardiola to send him on loan at Valencia last season.
Rumours of a permanent move in the summer transfer window but failed to materialise, with Mangala only making four appearances thus far mainly down to the excellence of Stones.
However disaster struck in Saturday's 2-0 win over Leicester City, with Stones been taken off after the half-hour mark with Guardiola confirming he could be out for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury.
Despite the return of Vincent Kompany the festive period is coming thick and fast with Mangala expected to receive more opportunities, and ahead of the clash with Feyenoord he is expected to take these opportunities "when they come along".
“I’ve learned so much every day. It’s a different way to play," Mangala told his pre-match press conference. "Strong passing, movement... our game is to be quick on the ball."
"John is unfortunately injured now. We have five defenders and sometimes it goes like that," the Frenchman stated on Stones' absence. "You must try to take your opportunities when they come along."
“City paid a lot of money for me," the 26-year-old added. "I am here to do my job and to be ready for the game."
It's a game to win
It has been a storming start to the season from The Citizens as their win over The Foxes being their 18th consecutive victory thus far, and will be looking to continue that on Tuesday with the visit of Feyenoord.
City have already qualified for the last-16 of the Champions League with two games to spare, but Guardiola will be desperate to make it a clean sweep and finish at the top of the group.
Guardiola confirmed that he will be looking to bring in the likes of; Tosin Adarabioyo, Phil Foden and Brahim Díaz for the clash against Feyenoord, but despite the prospect of bringing in youngsters and having already qualified Mangala stated that it is still a "game to win" for City.
“It is a game to win," he said on the clash with the Dutch champions. "We are already qualified, but we want to win every time play."
“It will be difficult," the defender admitted. "To win this game and to play the way we like to play."
"But we want to finish in our stadium," Mangala concluded. "And be first.”