(Reuters) - Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure remains content at the club despite being relegated to a bit-part role with the Premier League leaders this season.
The Ivorian, instrumental to City’s success in recent years, has been limited to just two substitute appearances in the league, two League Cup games and one Champions League match this campaign.
The 34-year-old started his first Champions League game this season in Tuesday’s 1-0 win against Feyenoord as Pep Guardiola’s team progressed to the knockout stages as unbeaten group winners.
“You want me to play? Tell the manager,” Toure told reporters after the match.
“Look at my face; do you think I am frustrated? Am I enjoying? Of course. (If) I am frustrated... I would say to the manager ‘I don’t want to be on the bench and I want to go home’.”
City are on a 17-game winning streak across all competitions and have opened an eight-point lead at the top of the standings.
After their recent dominant performances, City laboured to a hard-fought win over the Dutch champions and Toure believes the performance was well below par and called for improvement as they prepare to face top teams in the knockout stages.
“You see Feyenoord, they came and were difficult. The manager at the end was quite angry with the team. We can do better than that. We played lazily,” Toure added.
“That’s my worry. Sometimes, when the manager makes changes... We miss easy passes and we miss easy chances. The manager said so in the dressing room.
“We are in good form, (but) when I see Juventus, or Real Madrid, Barcelona — all these teams, we’ve got to be stronger and better. Statistics mean nothing, and we have to play against them and see where we are.”
City travel to promoted Huddersfield Town, who are 10th in the league, on Sunday.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru