Gabriel Jesus believes John Stones’ return from injury can help City recapture our best form as we bid to close the deficit on Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.

The defender was back in training this week following the thigh injury that ruled him out of our previous six games and which saw Fernandinho deployed at centre-half alongside Nicolas Otamendi.

Jesus has nothing but praise for his fellow Brazilian’s efforts in an unfamiliar position, which he felt further evidenced his quality, but admitted having Stones’ available again is a huge boost for Pep Guardiola’s squad.

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“It’s been difficult because we haven’t had the right number of players in defence,” said the striker.

“We only had Nico and Fernandinho, who was doing a great job, but isn’t a defender.

“John’s return will help us a lot. He is a great player. When you’ve got a player who is really good you can put him anywhere on the pitch and he will do a great job.

“That’s what Fernandinho has been doing. Working to support the team, playing really well and helping us a lot.

“You can see he is a very experienced player and really good at what he does.”

City return from the international break at Crystal Palace this weekend and go into the game eight points behind league leaders Liverpool following our defeat to Wolves.

Guardiola’s side trailed by a similar margin in January but we won our final 14 matches to beat the Merseyside outfit to the 2018/19 title.

The Catalan has been unequivocal in his belief that it is too early in the season to think about who will be crowned champions this season and Jesus echoes that sentiment, but says the squad remain focused on returning to winning ways as quick as possible.

“I feel that the guys are willing to get things right, to get back on the winning track and obviously to be champions,” added the 22-year-old.

“However, all the titles are still far away, so it’s step by step and I think everybody is in this sort of mood.

“It [Liverpool’s lead] is a concern and it is also too early [to be concerned]. We have to work hard and try to win every game from now on.”