Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong has spoken of his desire to help his club win more silverware, and says he sees himself as being far more than the midfield enforcer that some people perceive him to be.
De Jong has been frustrated in recent weeks by slow progress on negotiations for a contract extension, but he has a great deal of belief in Manchester City’s future and their prospects for winning further trophies.
He first talked to The Sunday Times about his hardman image, saying: “My intention is never to harm people.
“I always try and play fair."
De Jong also said he wants to be seen as “a competitive player, a player who always gives 100 per cent for his country or his club and not much more.
“I love the game and I’m a competitive guy and I try to win my battles for the team.
“A lot of people have an opinion of me being a hard man, being that enforcer figure.
“To know I’m something more, it will take time.
“But it [his image] is changing again. I can only let my feet speak.”
De Jong was also very keen to stress his desire for further trophies at Manchester City, drawing on his previous experience in losing the World Cup final with Holland.
He added: “I won trophies at Ajax and it was quite a wait before the FA Cup and winning something again.
“I lost a World Cup final.
“To have that trophy in your hands and let it slip away is the biggest disappointment in the career of any player.
“It is a driver for me not to experience anything like that again. I want to have gold medals in my hand, not silver medals, and feel I’m finally in the right place for that.
“There’s a lot of potential in our squad, a lot of quality. We’re capable of stretching ourselves even further if we work hard together.
“Last season was the last in a three-year process of getting the squad together, gelling and getting ready for this season.
“The plan was to win the FA Cup, be in the Champions League then challenge for the title the next year.
“The Champions League is a great thing for the club but also for the stage we’re at as a group of players.
“We can’t expect to be in the final straight away but it will help the team develop.”