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Guardiola: Stones has huge part to play

Pep Guardiola says John Stones has proved many times that he is a crucial part of the City defence.

The England defender has had to be patient this season for opportunities, particularly with Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias playing so well, but the loss of Dias for a number of weeks due to a hamstring injury means Stones has a major role to play in his absence.

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“Last season Aymeric played less, but this season we start with Aymeric and Ruben, especially Aymer was playing incredible,” said Guardiola.

“Especially we need a left foot in this area to help us to make our build-up and little details to make a good pass, the central defender left to the full back good pass creates a chance to score a goal in our point of view.

“It’s so important but John didn’t play much because he was injured twice again, in the previous season he was never injured.

“But what I feel is he’s incredibly mature, some of the knocks that life has given him, he understands his profession and his life much better and the proof is when he played right-back - he wasn’t just good, he was exceptional. Exceptional.

“Defensively and offensively and everything. That’s why with Ruben out, hopefully he can be fit and be there.

“I don’t have doubts about John but he knows he can do better and every game is proof that he can do better, and today we trained specifically with him to do better in many aspects.

“I think he’s ready to accept he can do better and when he doesn't play he’s not ‘oh I don’t play’, he helps a lot of the team and says, ‘I’m here’ and when that happens you will have a long and successful career.

“Everything comes from here, and he’s ready.”

Watch the full second half of Pep's press conference on the video above...

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