Fernandinho happy with new City role
Fernandinho insists he is happy to fill in at the back for Manchester City but admits he still has a lot to learn about the role.
City have been light on options in the heart of defence this season and Fernandinho has been deputising.
Pep Guardiola failed to bring in a replacement for Vincent Kompany over the summer following his decision to walk away from the club at the end of his contract, ultimately taking up the offer to return home to Belgium to work with Anderlecht.
Kompany’s exit left City with just three senior central defenders in the shape of Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.
It seemed a strange decision from Guardiola not to reinforce when taking into account Stones and Otamendi’s injury record.
The duo have both spent time on the sidelines already this season while Laporte has been out of action since suffering a knee injury in the win over Brighton on August 31.
Laporte has undergone surgery and he isn’t expected to be available for selection until February at the earliest.
Fernandinho has deputised, dropping back from his regular holding midfield role, with 11 of his 12 appearances across all competitions coming in defence.
The Brazilian accepts that his performances haven’t been up to the standard required but insists he is enjoying the change of role and hopes to continue improving.
“I feel good,” Fernandinho said. “Of course, I have the help of my teammates and manager. It’s been great for me, trying to do my best as always since I signed for City.
“Sometimes you feel you have to improve a little bit – but that’s beauty of football. You can. Every morning, you can make it happen.”
The 34-year-old is set for another tough test on Saturday when Chelsea, who are one point and one place better off, travel to the Etihad Stadium.
City have a strong record at home to the Blues, having won three of the last four meetings to nil, including a 6-0 triumph last season.
Bobbie Jackson is a reporter with an in-depth knowledge of football at all levels. A Blackpool supporter, Bobbie is also a keen rugby union, boxing, MMA and UFC follower.