Men's Team

City v Dortmund: Denayer enjoying Pep challenge

City v Dortmund: Denayer enjoying Pep challenge
Jason Denayer says Pep Guardiola's training regime is 'completely different' - but the Belgian centre-back is already feeling the benefits.

Denayer joined up with the squad in Beijing last week after representing Belgium at Euro 2016.

He said: “Pep is a very good person, he speaks a lot and you learn a lot. He makes you confident so it’s very good to train with him.

“He has his own tactics, he asks us to do different things so we start to learn. It’s completely different and it’s new, so we need to learn fast and we will try to do it.”

Denayer’s first chance to impress his new boss in a competitive environment comes against Borussia Dortmund in Shenzhen and he feels it’s vital to face prestigious clubs in pre-season.

“I think it’s a very good team – it’s important to play good teams in pre-season and we learn quicker doing this. They had a big win against United so we know it’s going to be a great game for the fans over who have given us such a great welcome,” he said.

The 21-year-old spent last season on loan at Turkish giants Galatasaray and he feels the experience was invaluable for his footballing development.

“I learned a lot on the mental side at Galatasaray because it’s a club with a lot of expectation and that brings pressure,” said Denayer.

“I played a lot at right-back and I learned a lot in that position – it was a new one for me. Now I’m happy to play in that position because I know more about the game but I see myself as a centre back first and foremost.

“I think the supporters are very honest – there it’s a bit difficult because Galatasaray expect to win everything and this season was not the best one. In the Premier League, in England, it’s different - the supporters know that you can’t win every trophy but Galatasaray expect to.”

Despite his education in Turkey, the defender is under no illusions as to how difficult it will be to break into City’s first team ahead of next season.

He stated: “I’m happy to be back here. You never know what’s going to happen – it depends on the coach and me. I try to do my best in training and we’re going to see if I’m part of the new manager’s plan or not.”

Manchester City FC Tour 2016 supported by Visit Abu Dhabi.