Claudio Bravo believes Manchester City have made significant strides under Pep Guardiola this season.
Although the goalkeeper admits results haven’t been what the City squad and management expected, he says City’s style of football has improved, providing a trophy-winning platform for years to come.
Guardiola has encouraged City to play out from the back, with the goalkeeper and back four a key element in the team’s build-up play.
Their goal in the recent win over Hull that saw all 11 players touch the ball before Sergio Aguero finished from close range was perhaps the best example to date of Guardiola’s philosophy being realised.
Bravo says playing that way is difficult and admits the team is still evolving – but is optimistic about where it can lead the Blues in the coming years.
“The way we have been able to play, it's not easy to achieve,” he said.
“Scoring a goal form the build-up by making 30 passes and finishing the play with a goal, I think it's based on what we have worked and what we have built this season. That's what we must highlight.
“Our team plays differently to the rest of the teams, but at the same time it's not easy.
“We are still in a stage of construction, keep improving and keep growing day by day.
“I think all the experiences we have got this season are going to help us a lot to grow in the future and get closer to trophies”
City began the season hoping to challenge for the game’s major prizes but will end the campaign empty-handed after Sunday’s defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final saw their final hope of silverware dissipate.
Guardiola and director of football Txiki Begiristain will now set about making improvements to the squad during the summer, with new players likely to arrive to bolster the side.
But Bravo says the current squad can learn a lot from the adversity they have faced this season, something that will help them moving forward.
“You always take positive conclusions. You always have to improve, you always have to grow,” he said.
“The best way to grow is based on the defeats. When things don't go well, it's a warning sign, to train harder, to be more focused on what you do in your day-to-day.
“My experience has been a little bit like that, trying to be more focused on my job. I have always been very professional, but coming to a new country, with a new language, that makes you be even more on guard, more focused about everything that happens to you.
“I think that's important. I have always taken things very professionally, trying to do my job the best I can, even more when things didn't go the way we wanted to. We are all in the same task of keep improving for the future”
City face cross-town rivals Manchester United on Thursday in need of three points to retain their place inside the top four.
The Blues sit fourth, two points behind third-placed Liverpool with two games in hand, but with United one point behind them in fifth.
It looks set to be a tight race that will continue right up until the final day and Bravo, who made his debut in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, admits the game against United is hugely important.
“Winning is always important,” he said. “But not only this match is decisive, I think all the matches from now until the end of the season are going to be decisive.
“There's just few more games left, so both the game tomorrow and the rest of the games pending have an importance to achieve our goals.”