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Man City defender Stones: Southgate always stayed in contact

Manchester City defender John Stones says England coach Gareth Southgate remained in contact when he wasn't getting a game earlier this season.

City defender Stones did not play in the Premier League until mid-October which raised doubts about whether he would keep his place in the England squad.

But despite England boss Southgate axing the likes of Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard for not playing enough minutes, it is clear that Stones is an exceptional case.

Stones, who has been playing again after City team mate Aymeric Laporte got suspended, said: “Maybe last camp or the camp before that I spoke to Gareth about it - it was almost like a reassurance of things I already knew or was thinking.

“He told me to stick with it and I would get my time. Sometimes when you are not playing, you know why - because of errors or bad form or whatever.

“But I knew it was not anything like that. So it was a great break coming to England seeing a different environment and different people and trying to improve for when I went back to City.

“I knew I had to be patient from the start of the season. I had two really annoying injuries that came at a bad time in the respective periods when I was coming back.

"Both times we had a game on the Wednesday and I was ready for the Thursday to train again.

“There just was not that amount of time to get back. The team was playing well and I knew I just had to be patient and wait for my opportunity again."


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