John Stones welcomes "strong competition" in Manchester City defence ahead of Feyenoord clash

John Stones has stated that he has to work hard and "play well" to keep his place in Pep Guardiola's and Gareth Southgate's sides.

John Stones welcomes "strong competition" in Manchester City defence ahead of Feyenoord clash
Above: John Stones with Kevin De Bruyne in training ahead of the trip to Feyenoord | Photo: Getty Images/Tom Flathers

Manchester City defender John Stones has stated that he welcomes "strong competition" for places in Pep Guardiola's side, as the 23-year-old is expected to start in tonight's clash with Feyenoord. 

Have to play well to keep my spot 

It has been more than a bumpy road for the young English defender since joining from Everton last summer, with the youngster coming under regular heavy scrutiny for his style of play. 

Guardiola's defence last season was one of the main components that resulted in a disappointing first season in Eastlands, but the coach has looked to fix the problem investing £226milllion into his during the summer window. 

Most of that investment came in the defence with the signings of Danilo, Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy, and Stones admitted that he will have to "keep working hard" to maintain his spot on both a domestic and international scale. 

"I have to keep fighting," Stones told his pre-match press conference. "Keep working hard in training.

“There is strong competition," the defender admitted. "Everyone wants to play.

“We have to play well to keep our spot," Stones added. "And keep in the England squad."

 

 

Show of his character 

Guardiola also invested between the sticks by breaking the world record for a goalkeeper with the signing of Ederson. The young Brazilian has settled in well thus far until City's 5-0 thrashing of Liverpool.

Ederson played a part in the game's most controversial moment as his clash with Sadio Mané saw the winger dismissed. This left the Brazilian on the turf for several minutes before being stretchered off. 

The 'keeper needed a number of stitches from the collision but trained on Monday and Tuesday wearing protective gear and was part of the matchday squad, and Stones praised Ederson's "character" to get on with it. 

"Ederson has got on with it straight away,” he said. “After the game in the changing room he was talking as if nothing had happened.

“That shows his character," the 23-year-old concluded. "He wants to be around the team, in that environment."