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The defender has seemingly leapfrogged Joleon Lescott to earn a place in Roberto Mancini's first-choice defence this season but knows he faces a battle to stay there

Manchester City defender Kolo Toure says he is loving the battle for a regular place in Roberto Mancini’s starting line-up.

The Ivory Coast international looks poised to depart the club in the summer after struggling to establish himself last season, but has featured in recent weeks ahead of the seemingly out-of-favour Joleon Lescott.

And he has insisted he is used to having to compete for a starting berth after his spell at another "top club", Arsenal.

"It's not easy but for me I'm used to that,” he told Sky Sports News. “You know I've been at Arsenal which is a top club and every week you have to fight for your place.

"For me, I'm a fighter and I like to play for big clubs because that's where you improve yourself. Every day at training you have to give a hundred per cent to be picked by your manager.

"It's not quite easy but for me I love it and I'm just carrying [on] doing my best every day."

The 31-year-old also stressed he is pleased to be part of City’s trophy-winning squad, even if he does not always feature, and hopes to make as many as 25 appearances this term.

He added: "I like the challenge because for me it's very important. When you play for big clubs you have more chance to win trophies. Every season when I win a trophy I'm just so happy.

"It doesn't matter how many games I play, but if you play 20-25 games I think that's a lot because when you play for a big club you need to give a hundred per cent every week because there is a lot of demand.

"For me I'm a part of it and I'm really enjoying."Kolo Toure ready to fight for Manchester City starting spot

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