News Live Scores
Manchester City

Let's see how I perform against attacking teams - Fernandinho

22:30 BST 23/09/2019
Fernandinho, Manchester City
Brazilian has impressed as centre-back stand-in for the Premier League champions but he insists he is still learning the position

Fernandinho admits he does not know if he is Manchester City’s long-term answer to their defensive problems but he is happy to help for now.

The Brazilian has stepped into the backline after injuries to John Stones and Aymeric Laporte left City with just one senior centre-back.

City have kept clean sheets in their last two games, against Shakhtar Donetsk and Watford, with the 34-year-old give a commanding performance as the defensive deputy.

Pep Guardiola has said he is not expecting to add a new defender when the transfer window reopens in January and Fernandinho says he will do his best to fill the role.

“Both our centre-backs are injured, so they find that I can play there,” Fernandinho said. “I’m here to help so that's fine.

“As for the future, we will see what happens. It's better to think about now.

“Sometimes experience can help, even if you don't play - talking to the players, helping to fix some things.

“This is the best way to be in the team, helping wherever you can.”

Guardiola identified Fernandinho has his fourth-choice option in the heart of the defence after Vincent Kompany left in the summer and City refused to pay the asking price for Harry Maguire.

The City boss has praised his ability to shift around positions and insisted he had no doubts he could cope with the switch following the Champions League win in Ukraine.

Fernandinho, though, says he is still learning the role and is expecting tougher tests, with Stones not expected back for at least another month and Laporte out until at least January.

“I'm still in an adaptation process,” he said.

“It's something new for me although I did know since the end of last season that playing as a centre-back was a possibility.

“I’ve started training it from the beginning of this season so it's still new, but I'm trying to learn from that experience.

“The way we play makes it a bit easier because we keep the ball with us most minutes.

“But when an opponent attacks more through crosses or behind-the-line runs... let's see how I'm going to perform."

Fernandinho is expected to be rested for the Carabao Cup third round clash with Preston on Tuesday.

Spanish Academy player Eric Garcia is set to start while 17-year-old Taylor Harwood-Bellis has been included in Guardiola’s squad.