Thursday, 21 September 2017

Eliaquim Mangala ready to fight for starting place at Manchester City

BIRMINGHAM -- Eliaquim Mangala has said he wants to stay at Manchester City and fight for a place in Pep Guardiola's team. Mangala spent last season on loan at Valencia but turned down the chance to move to Crystal Palace in the summer. He has struggled for form since a £32 million move to City from Porto in 2014 but is determined to force his way into Guardiola's plans. "In football anything can happen, but finally I stayed at Manchester City, and that's good," Mangala told reporters after City's 2-1 League Cup win at West Bromwich Albion. "I am involved in the group and want to be involved in all competitions we are fighting for this season. "I want to help the team when they need me -- even when I don't play I will support my mates and help them to be confident, to help in training. "I said I want to stay -- that was my decision. I know we have so many good quality players, but to win titles we want a squad." Mangala made his first start of the season at West Brom following a brief substitute appearance in the 5-0 win over Liverpool. The 26-year-old is down the pecking order at City but, with injury concerns surrounding captain Vincent Kompany, could be called upon to play a significant role. "It's important to be ready because there are so many games," he said. "Here you can't win the title with 11 players. "It was my first start [at West Brom], but it is difficult when you haven't played for a long time. It was good for my confidence, to put into practice all I have done on the training ground in preseason." Mangala said his time on loan at Valencia had helped rebuild his belief, adding: "I am back here with more confidence, more experience and to help the team. "In football so many things can happen, but I am just here to enjoy, to play and be part of this amazing squad -- and hopefully to win some titles."

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