Matija Nastasic believes the first few games he played in English football have proved to be the bedrock of what has so far been an impressive debut season for City.
The Serbia international, still just 19, has forged a great understanding with skipper Vincent Kompany and the Blues currently possess the best defensive record in the Premier League.
It all bodes well for the teenager whose form has kept two experienced internationals out of the side for much of the campaign.
“I'm very proud that I have held down a first-team place because Joleon Lescott is a great player and so is Kolo Toure,” said Matija Nastasic.
“I didn’t expect to play straight away. When I arrived I noticed in the first couple of games that I could settle down and had time to play my way into games and that gave me confidence.
“So far I've played 20 games and everything is going well for me at the moment. But it's not really important who plays as long as the team do well. Of course, it's very important for a player to do well in the first two or three games because you are still finding your feet.
It's a different challenge in Italy. It's also very difficult to play there but I'm happy here and feel suited to English football
“The main difference is that in Italy it's a very tactical game. Teams get a lot of players behind the ball. Here the games are more open and the challenges are stronger.”
With an aerial battle ahead for this weekend’s trip to Stoke, Nastasic says he has found difficult opponents in every team and each side presents their own threat and strengths.
“All the players I've played against have given me a different challenge so I have to be focused on each game as it comes,” he said.
“I can't say one individual has been harder to face over another, but everyone I've played against has been difficult.”
Matija also revealed he spoke with the man he replaced at City – Stefan Savic – before he arrived in Manchester, adding: “I had a chat with Stefan because he took my place at Fiorentina.
“I knew that he had a little bit of difficulty adapting here, but thankfully my transition has gone really well and I feel I have the ability to cope with the Premier League. This is a great club and I’m really enjoying being a City player.”