Kevin De Bruyne says it is “so difficult” to recover from his long injury lay-off and says there is no point making any comparisons to last season's player of the year form.
De Bruyne missed the first half of the season with two separate knee injuries, and has been gradually working his way back to full fitness since returning to the Manchester City team in early January.
The Belgian was voted City’s best player last season but has appeared to struggle to find that kind of consistency in recent weeks, although he says the nature of his time out injured means those comparisons are unfair.
“I’m ok,” he told reporters after City won the Carabao Cup on Sunday. “I’m doing well enough.
"I know people compare with last season but it’s so difficult to be out for six months. I think I played a very… a good game today, I didn’t create too much but the thing is in the end you need to win and I sometimes have different tasks. I’m happy.”
Guardiola said his players were going to “suffer” in the coming months given the amount of games they will play across the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup, and ahead of a home game against West Ham on Wednesday and a trip to Bournemouth on Saturday, De Bruyne branded the schedule “unbelievable”.
“I feel alright, you know, it’s tough but it’s tough for everybody with the amount of games coming up,” he added. “It’s unbelievable, they say the winter period is tough but from the moment we started in September in Europe it hasn’t stopped for us.
“The schedule this week doesn’t help us in a way but we’ll take it as it goes. In the end we don’t decide when we’re playing we just go and play and do the best as possible.”
The 27-year-old, unsurprisingly, ruled out talk of a quadruple despite City securing their first trophy of the season, but said if it were to happen then the Blues would have to go down as the best in history.
“Almost impossible,” he said of winning all four competitions. “We are going to try to win as many games as possible, obviously, to do it and if you do that you must be considered the best team ever because nobody has done it.
“However, we are not looking at that. We want to win as much as possible. We are not thinking about the quadruple. If we win three and then we play the Champions League final maybe we can talk about it but before that no way.”