Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott is desperately awaiting a first-team recall but believes patience is a virtue when trying to win back his place.
Lescott is available for selection after a fortnight injured, but the former Wolverhampton Wanderers man admits regaining his place in a defence that has conceded just one goal in six games may prove difficult.
The England defender has been unable to uproot teenager Matija Natastic who has earned eight successive starts under Roberto Mancini, but Lescott vows to continue training as he waits for his first-team chance.
“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,” said Lescott.
“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,” he added.
“When I next get my chance, it’s up to me to 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 squad situation at City means that Lescott is unlikely to feature in this weekend’s clash against his former club Everton.
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.”