Nigel de Jong is revelling in his key role as the enforcer at the heart of City's chase for Champions League football and admits: "For me, a great tackle is better than scoring a goal."
Holland midfielder De Jong is fast becoming a cult hero among Blues fans for the no-frills performances that have underpinned City's campaign to gatecrash the top four places.
No-nonsense Nigel, prised from Hamburg in the January transfer window, had to wait a month to force his way into manager Mark Hughes' starting line-up but has not looked back since.
De Jong, who showed his steel in the hard-fought draws at Aston Villa and Wigan, said: "I'm very happy now to be out on the pitch every game and playing the best I can for Manchester City.
My qualities aren't about trying to get into the box and score goals. I tackle people and protect the back four
Nigel de Jong
"I am the player in the holding role and I always try to do my best. I hope I can continue that way for the rest of the season."
Nigel has yet to find the net for City and finally broke his duck for Holland against Iceland in Reykjavik in a World Cup qualifier this summer, his only goal in 35 apperarances.
He added: "For me, a great tackle is better than scoring a goal, to be honest. I take real satisfaction if it is an important one. OK, it's difficult, but I love to make those challenges."