Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has said that his hard work in recovering from a number of injuries paid off during his man-of-the-match performance in this evening's 3-0 win over Southampton.
The Belgian was "happy" with his first goal of the campaign, but insists that the clean sheet was just as important to him as City climbed up to third in the table.
"I am happy with the goal, it's helped my team, but also happy with the clean sheet. This is an hard place to come and to get the result, we will all be happy. For me, it's always a long journey back [after injury]. I would have liked to have been injured less in my career, but when it happens I put in the hard work and it pays off. I am finally giving something back to the team," he told BT Sport.
"It's ups and downs in football, but ultimately what gets you up is you keep looking towards your objective. If I had to work 15 years to have just one moment like this I would do. I am happy today but I will stay calm and prepare well for the next game.
"We knew this game was massive for us and there was so much pressure, so to come here and have such a performance, everyone in the team deserves top marks. It's always a process of improving, getting better. Next up is the FA Cup - I love the cup and love a derby."
City take on Arsenal in the semi-finals of the FA Cup next weekend.