Toure struggles to accept being fourth in pecking order behind Nastasic at City
21:30 GMT, 26 September 2012
Kolo Toure admits he is struggling to come to terms with being Manchester City’s fourth-choice centre-back behind teenager Matija Nastasic.
The 19-year-old Serbian defender made a surprise debut against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last week following his summer move from Fiorentina.
Toure is not even in City’s Champions League squad after he failed to agree terms over a move to Turkish clubs Galatasaray and Bursaspor, and now finds himself even further behind the first-choice pairing of Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott.
Struggle: Kolo Toure (right) is unhappy that he is fourth in the pecking order at Manchester City
‘Joleon and Vincent have been fantastic and deserve their place, but it’s much harder when a young player comes and steps in front of you, said Toure, who has struggled to re-establish himself at City since he was handed a six-month drugs ban last year.
‘Since I came back from the problem I had, I’ve been fourth-choice every time and that’s been really difficult. It’s hard to come in and give your best.
‘I feel I can still get into the team. Ask anybody. Every day at training I give everything.
‘It’s hard, but that is the manager’s choice, and what can I do I need to work hard, and that’s alright by me.
‘Sometimes I am not on the bench and that is not easy, but it’s up to me to prove to the manager that I am still one of the best.’
First choice: Joleon Lescott (centre left) and Vincent kompany (centre right) were outstanding for City last season
Toure blamed his failed test on taking his wife’s diet pills. The 31-year-old Ivory Coast defender insists he has tried a more conventional way to get himself into shape for the new season.
‘I got a personal trainer to train myself during pre-season,’ said Toure. ‘Ten days before we came back I was working hard with my personal trainer because I want to come back to my best.
‘I feel strong, and since my problem I have a hunger in me to show what I can do.
‘There were other clubs in for me in the summer, but I love England. Some good Turkish clubs came in with good offers but I want to stay at the top, play in the Premier League and prove I am still one of the best defenders out there.’
Toure played in a back-three with Lescott and Nastasic in Tuesday’s 4-2 Capital One Cup defeat at home to Aston Villa.
More competition: Matija Nastasic (right) is ahead of Toure in Roberto Mancini's plans
The defeat meant City have conceded 14 goals in seven games in all competitions this season, and Toure warned that the defensive failings are in danger of costing the Premier League champions their title.
‘We need to react as a team because we are Manchester City, the champions from last year,’ he said.
‘If you want to win the Premier League you have to be able to keep clean sheets. When you look at what happened over the last few years, everyone who wins it has that ability and we haven’t been able to do it this season.’