He insists that tales of training ground scraps and bust-ups only scratch the surface when it comes to illustrating the competitive spirit that Roberto Mancini has brought to Eastlands.
At just 5ft 7in and weighing in at 11st, the 25-year-old explained to the Sunday Mirror: “It can be really ferocious during training sessions.
“We have many big, powerful players here and as one of the smaller guys I really have to concentrate during practice matches to make sure they don’t smash into me.
“I would say it is a positive thing that we have that level of competitiveness in training.
“In football, you always get confrontations between team-mates but it starts and ends on the training ground. It happened in Spain and it happens here. These guys are winners. They are here to lift trophies.
“You can’t just switch a winning mentality on and off. It is always with you.”