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John Stones claims Manchester City are still the best team in England

John Stones claims Manchester City are still the best team in England
© Reuters
City are bidding to retain the FA Cup and win the Champions League for the first time.

John Stones is determined to be at the forefront of Manchester City's continuing push for glory.

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.

John Stones (right) returned from injury in City's defeat of Newcastle on Wednesday
John Stones, right, returned from injury in City's victory over Newcastle on Wednesday (Lee Smith/NMC Pool/PA)

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 has had to overcome injury setbacks
Stones has had to overcome injury setbacks (Mike Egerton/PA)

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.

"That was frustrating after the lockdown period when I'd worked so hard, kept myself fit and felt like I was in the best condition I've been in. So it feels great to be back.

"I feel fit and healthy, ready to fight for the Champions League and every competition we are in. They are exciting times."

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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd391813867373067
4Chelsea392061370571366
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Arsenal381414105648856
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd381412123939054
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Everton401411154858-1053
12Southampton38157165160-952
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford38810203664-2834
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921

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