A succession of niggling injuries robbed Fabian Delph of the opportunity to start off life at City with a bang as he would have liked.
Now he’s fit, the November Etihad Player of the Month nominee is showing exactly why the club worked so hard to bring him to the Etihad Stadium in the summer.
Delph scored his first City goal against Southampton last time out and turned in an all-action display to whet supporters’ appetites for what the England international could add to an already-stellar midfield.
With Yaya Toure missing for the Saturday lunchtime clash at Stoke City and Fernando returning from his lay-off, the 26-year old could once against start alongside Fernandinho at a stadium he describes as a “fortress”.
“It’s been a great start,” Delph reflected.
“Injuries come and go but I’m finally fit now and it’s been a good week for me. I’ve been itching to get back at it so I’m really happy at the minute.
“Every game is a challenge. We go there with a game plan and if we execute it right I’m sure we’ll come home happy.
“No matter what team goes to Stoke they’ve built a fortress there so it’s going to be difficult but when you have the squad we do you go into games feeling really confident and so we hope to come out on top.
“They’re really impressive and Mark Hughes is a great manager.
“He’s implemented a way of playing that means it will be difficult to go there and get the win but we go into every game feeling confident and we’re hoping for the three points.”
Fabian is well aware of the controversy which surrounded his move to Manchester but his ambition for silverware is clearly a driving factor for the midfielder.
With City alive in all four competitions and through to the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup, as well as the knockout stages of the Champions League, he sees no reason the team can’t continue to fight on all fronts.
“City are one of the biggest clubs in the world with a great fan-base,” he said.
“The structure of the club is there for us to compete in every competition we play in. I feel like there probably are a lot of eyes on the club but for the players it’s just about going out there and trying to give 100%. I know hand on my heart that I’ll give 100% in every game we play.
“One of the biggest reasons I’ve come here is to win trophies and looking round the dressing room and speaking to the players, they’re all confident with what we bring to the table. I can’t see why we can’t win a few trophies this season.
“Everyone is going in the same direction and wanting to win games with exciting play and a lot of goals. I’m really pleased to be here. To win a game 1-0 is to win a game but the way we’ve been doing it the last few games is exciting for the fans and for the club.”
City’s injury troubles have been well documented in recent weeks and for this trip to Stoke, the squad will be seven players down.
As well as Toure, Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala (suspended), Samir Nasri, Patrick Roberts and Pablo Zabaleta are all sidelined but Fabian believes there is still plenty of competition for places in the team and that this will be a decisive factor for City’s trophy ambitions.
“It’s healthy for the squad and great to have competition for places,” he declared.
“There’s a lot of games here, 60+ a season, so to have a big squad of players that can come in and do a job is really important, especially if you’re challenging for trophies.
“There’s great players here and because there’s so many games everyone is going to get an opportunity to play and when you do play you have to take that opportunity and do well.
“I just hope I can stay injury free and when I do get the chance to play games I can do well and help the team push forward.”