Joleon Lescott is champing at the bit to earn a first-team recall but believes patience is the key in winning back his place.
After being side-lined for a fortnight through injury, Lescott is now available for selection, but the England defender accepts a central defence which has conceded just one goal in six Premier League games deserves to remain in situ.
“I’ve been fit for a couple of weeks now and while it was disappointing to be left out of the squad sat Chelsea and Wigan, the manager has to pick a team and bench that he thinks can do a job on the day and I respect that,” he said.
“It is tough being out of the team and frustrating because it’s natural to want to play every game, but if anyone comes in and does well, why would you change things?
“Micah came back from injury and did really well and we started keeping clean sheets so he was in the team each week until he picked up his injury – that’s how it should be. I’ll just do my job, train hard and wait for my chance to get back in the team. In the meantime, I’ll be rooting for the lads the same as if I was out on the pitch.
“During matches, I’m obviously watching the game, but I’m always focusing on our defence and taking everything in – how we handle certain situations, what we can do better and if I can offer any advice to my team-mates, I will.
“When I next get my chance, it’s up to me show the manager what I can do and make it hard for him to leave me out – that’s the same for any player at this club because there is competition for places in every department.”
With Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic likely to continue their partnership against Everton, Lescott knows he could miss out when City take on his former club Everton on Saturday.
“I always look forward to playing Everton, but it’s never less than a tough game for us as well so I’ve mixed feelings, I suppose,” he said.
“I’d like to think I had a good relationship with the supporters when I was at Goodison Park so it’s a shame that didn’t continue after I’d left, but it happens in football and it’s understandable that they were upset when I left.
“I think the fact we’ve won the Premier League and FA Cup since I came to City has proved my decision to have been a good one and it’s one I don’t regret, but I enjoyed my time at Everton and have a lot of good memories of playing for the club.”