Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph says he understands what the fans want, insisting he is looking to put an injury-hit start to life at the Etihad firmly behind him.
Following his move from Aston Villa over the summer, the England international has emerged as one of Manuel Pellegrini’s more consistent performers after overcoming niggling thigh problems at the start of the season.
And the 26-year-old is confident that he knows what the fans want to see from himself and his teammates on the pitch particularly acutely as one of the squad’s five English representatives.
“I feel quite a strong connection with the fans,” said Delph. “I’ve tried to repay that by giving 100% whenever I start or come off the bench because they deserve nothing less.
“I try to play like they would if they had the opportunity. I’m a football fan myself and to go out there and give a half-hearted performance wouldn’t sit right with me.”
Delph was one of Villa’s standout players last season which earned a call-up to Roy Hodgson’s England squad, where he made his international debut in September 2014.
After a contentious summer move to Manchester, the industrious midfielder has impressed City fans with his verve and tenacity.
“I’m an English player,” said Delph.
“I understand what fans in this country like to see – they want to see total dedication, players wearing their heart on their sleeves and giving everything they’ve got and that’s all I’ve tried to do.
“I had a horrific start to my time here and it’s obviously not good to come to a club and then be out injured for so long but as soon as I managed to get fit, the supporters have been unbelievable with me.”
An unused substitute in City’s narrow 0-0 draw at home to Everton on Wednesday evening, Delph was nonetheless emphatic in his verdict of the game.
Pellegrini’s side squandered a host of chances before having a convincing penalty-appeal turned down in the 90th minute by referee Roger East.
“I felt we’d done enough to win the game,” the Bradford-born midfielder said. “I think it’s a pretty fair shout to say we should have been awarded a penalty as well.
“Yaya [Touré] had a good chance but the keeper made a great save but overall, we created enough chances to have taken all the points but if you can’t win, you have to make sure you don’t lose.
“We took a point out of it and now we move on to the next game.”
City face Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace, who lost to Delph’s former club Aston Villa in midweek, at lunchtime on Saturday.
Image courtesy of MCFC via YouTube, with thanks.