Joleon Lescott remaining patient after losing starting berth at Manchester City

Nastasic currently preferred at centre-back

England defender Joleon Lescott is prepared to bide his time after losing his spot in the Manchester City side.

Lescott has fallen behind impressive youngster Matija Nastasic in the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium after a recent spell on the sidelines.

Lescott was troubled by a back injury earlier this month but has been available for the last four games and unable to reclaim his place.

Nastasic, 19, has now started eight games in succession in all competitions and Lescott has not even made the champions' bench for the last two Barclays Premier League matches.

Lescott told the club's website, http://www.mcfc.co.uk: "I've been fit for a couple of weeks now and while it was disappointing to be left out of the squads at Chelsea and Wigan, the manager has to pick a team and bench that he thinks can do a job on the day and I respect that.

"It is tough being out of the team and frustrating because it's natural to want to play every game, but if anyone comes in and does well, why would you change things?

"I'll just do my job, train hard and wait for my chance to get back in the team.

"In the meantime, I'll be rooting for the lads the same as if I was out on the pitch.

"When I next get my chance, it's up to me show the manager what I can do and make it hard for him to leave me out - that's the same for any player at this club because there is competition for places in every department."

The situation means the 30-year-old is unlikely to feature as his former club Everton visit Eastlands this weekend.

City paid the Toffees £22million for Lescott in a controversial transfer three years ago.

Lescott said: "I always look forward to playing Everton, but it's never less than a tough game for us as well so I've mixed feelings, I suppose.

"I'd like to think I had a good relationship with the supporters when I was at Goodison Park so it's a shame that didn't continue after I'd left, but it happens in football and it's understandable that they were upset when I left.

"I think the fact we've won the Premier League and FA Cup since I came to City has proved my decision to have been a good one and it's one I don't regret, but I enjoyed my time at Everton and have a lot of good memories of playing for the club."

City's defence has come under fire this season, chiefly after some disappointing performances in the Champions League.

But solidity has generally been restored on the domestic front with the team having conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League and kept six clean sheets in their last eight games.

Manager Roberto Mancini said: "We conceded a lot in Champions League, maybe.

"But in the Premier League after six or seven games we conceded maybe two goals more than last year - not 10.

"But, in this moment, we are working better because all the team is working in the defensive phase."

Mancini has also been impressed with the form of Nastasic, who was signed from Fiorentina on transfer deadline day in August, but is not getting carried away with the Serbian's performances.

He said: "I am happy because Nastasic is young.

"He needs to work hard because it is not enough to play 10 games in the Premier League.

"He needs more games but I think he has fantastic quality.

"For the future of Man City I think he will be an important player because he is young."

City have found Everton difficult opponents in recent years, having lost eight of their last 10 Premier League fixtures against the Merseysiders.

David Moyes' men have also made a fine start to the current campaign and despite winning only one of their last eight, are still sixth in the table and just four points off third place.

Mancini said: "I think Everton is difficult for everyone - for us, for Manchester United, for Chelsea.

"Every game they play against a top squad they play very well, every match we play against them we have a problem. I think that tomorrow will be the same.

"For the top team to beat Everton it is difficult and you beat them only if you play a fantastic game. They always play 100 per cent.

"I think Everton have started the season very well. They have the quality to finish fourth. Why not? They are a strong team."

PA

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