John Stones says Manchester City remain best team

John Stones is determined to be at the forefront of Manchester City’s continuing push for glory – and believes his team are still the best around.

The England defender is convinced City remain the best team in the country despite surrendering their Premier League crown to Liverpool after two successive triumphs.

They will hope to prove their enduring class as they bid to retain the FA Cup and win the Champions League for the first time.

  • Guardiola casts doubt over Stones future
  • Sterling targeting FA Cup and Champions League glory
  • Explainer: Champions League and Europa League draws

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After a season affected by form and fitness problems, Stones is anxious to be part of it.

The 26-year-old, who returned to the side for Wednesday’s 5-0 thrashing of Newcastle, said: “For me personally, coming into the game was exciting and challenging.

“Even though the Premier League has been won we are still fighting for trophies.

“We are quietly confident we are (still the best). We know our ability and the standard we have set for ourselves in the dressing room.

“Playing at this high standard every three or four days is something to be very proud of. That’s what we keep striving to do.

“We want to finish this season off and take it into next season, keeping our standards and trying to better ourselves – defensively and taking our chances.”

Stones’ reference to next season clearly suggests he sees his future at the Etihad Stadium.

There has been speculation about whether he might move on, with even manager Pep Guardiola not giving a categorical answer when asked about the matter this week.

But for Stones the priority is to keep fit and perform well in what has been a problem position for City this season.

The former Everton centre-back had been raring to go only to suffer an ankle injury as football prepared to resume following the coronavirus stoppage.

He said: “I picked up an injury really early after we came back and that kept me out for over a month.

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