Ruben Dias believes City will continue to gain strength over the coming weeks as key players return to full fitness.

City’s 1-0 Premier League win away to Bournemouth saw Jack Grealish return to the bench, while Mateo Kovacic also made his first start since January after a brief cameo against Brentford in midweek.

Kevin De Bruyne also returned as a second half substitute after being rested against the Bees, while Dias’ centre-back partner John Stones also enjoyed a standout display at the Vitality Stadium.

And with important figures in the squad beginning to regain their match sharpness, not to mention Phil Foden’s continued glowing form for City, Dias feels he and his team-mates are gathering momentum at an important stage of the season.

“The more players we have available - the bigger and stronger we get,” the Portuguese international explained.

“Obviously, [we’re] very happy to have him back after the injuries. For us, to have the whole team is a dream because we can actually reach our full potential.

“We’ve always known what he’s capable of. We’re very happy that he’s materialising it and long may it continue.”

Foden’s effort on the rebound after Erling Haaland had forced a save from Cherries’ stopper Neto proved the difference as City moved to within a point of the Premier League summit in our most recent fixture.

We had to dig deep to preserve an important win, with Milos Kerkez, Dominic Solanke and Enes Unal all going close for the hosts.

It was a far cry from the convincing 6-1 triumph a Jeremy Doku-inspired City had enjoyed at the Etihad Stadium in November 2023.

But Dias insists he and his team-mates were fully aware of the challenge Bournemouth would present at the Vitality Stadium.


He said: “We knew what we were facing. It’s a difficult team, it was a lot of one v one actions during the game.

“Obviously, it’s not easy but (we’re) very happy that we moved on.

“It was a long time ago in a long season, that game [6-1 win]. That game was never in our minds - we knew it was going to be a tough one.

“They’re good and they’re dangerous. It’s a big win for us.”