Sergio Aguero insists he does not have a problem with being left out of the Manchester City team ahead of Thursday's decisive derby with Manchester United in the Premier League.
The Argentina international endured a spell on the bench for City following the January arrival of Brazilian Gabriel Jesus, who then suffered a fractured metatarsal that kept him out of action for two months.
Aguero was on target for the fifth game in a row when he scored in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final defeat to Arsenal and the 28-year-old insists there was no issue with manager Pep Guardiola during his time out of the team.
"I've always adapted to whatever the manager has decided," Aguero told Sky Sports . "When I was on the bench, it wasn't a problem.
"Pep spoke to me and told me he was going with Gabriel Jesus. I just had to keep training hard and trying to do well when I got the chance to restore the manager's confidence in me.
"Gabriel Jesus then picked up an injury against Bournemouth. I came on in the second half, after almost 25 days without playing 90 minutes. I had that initial feeling of distress and nerves linked to his injury. Gabriel Jesus was very unfortunate to be out for two months, so I had the chance to restore the manager's faith in me.
"Luckily, things are going well for me. I'm happy that he's back now and that means I'll have to be much more focused and alert when I play. If I have to start on the bench once again, I'll have to accept it. That's football. I always respect my coaches and I certainly respect Pep. I just want to play and give my all until the end of the season."
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 27, 2017
City are set to end Guardiola's first season as manager without a trophy, but Aguero believes the team is adapting well to the Catalan's methods, although the striker initially found it tough to get used to the team's pressing tactics.
"The thing I've found the hardest has been getting into my head the fact that I have to press the centre-back and the goalkeeper in matches," Aguero added. "That's what Pep asks me to do.
"It may not be a big deal, but in terms of processing it, the two of us speak a lot. He knows what I'm like. I've been gradually learning and adapting to that style of pressing over the last few months. The first thing he taught me was how to press and how to do it well. Obviously there are times when I might drift out of position or I might press in an area where I'm not supposed to be, which might make it hard for the wingers or midfielders.
"In the game itself, I may not realise because I'm so immersed and you can't stop yourself. I've learnt a lot from him in terms of zones. He asks me to play as a number nine and to stay in that position. I often drift out wide during matches and he looks at me and says, 'If there's a player out wide who wants to cross it in, who's in there? Nobody.'
"I've been adapting this year and so has the team. The team has adapted to a different style of play. Every coach has his own style of play. The style under Pep is more attacking. Maybe I get more goalscoring chances and there's more for me to do. I always have to be ready to press and it can be tough because I can't see what's going on behind me and the centre-backs put pressure on me. It's very tough.
"I have to focus on my distribution when I receive the ball and make sure that I lay it off well, while thinking about who is around me. There are many things going through my head. I've learnt a lot about that. At the start, I misplaced a lot of passes to the players supporting me, which I've learnt from. That's how you learn. You learn more year-on-year even when you get older, and I'm already old."