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Team-player Nigel hails win over West Ham

Nigel de Jong

Nigel de Jong

Nigel de Jong sees City's strength in depth as a crucial factor in Monday night's fine win over West Ham.

The combative midfielder was not in the side for the first few games of the season, but since getting the nod for the Arsenal fixture Nigel has kept his place with some impressive displays.

Another key player in the win over West Ham was Martin Petrov, who like Nigel was on the sidelines at the start of the season but is now giving Mark Hughes a welcome selection headache after a goal-scoring return to the starting XI.

Nigel said: "It's never easy to be on the bench, watching from the sidelines. If you get the chance, you have to take the opportunity and that's what happened with Martin. He had a great game, but like all of us he's one of 22 guys in the squad. We're all fighting to get in the team, which makes the standard really high. We saw that against West Ham, this week it was Martin's chance but next week it might be somebody-else.

"It's a long season, there's the Carling Cup, FA Cup and the league, so you just have to wait for your chance and show your best when it comes along by showing the manager that he has to pick you. Sometimes you have to accept that you have to be on the bench, but you have pick yourself up and be positive about it."

Reflecting on how City refused to panic after West Ham levelled against the run of play, Nigel added: "We did well, it was a good game and we always have to look to pocket three points when we're in our own stadium. It was difficult when it went to 1-1 but we picked it up again, and in the end it was a very good win for us.

"Everybody in the squad is confident, and you can see that in the team because of the individual qualities we have. But we manage to stay focused as a team, which is what happened after we went to 1-1. We did not panic and managed to go 2-1 up, which is a great quality to have.

"That's a great thing for us, because we have a lot of new players and we have bonded together very well."

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