Kyle Walker says it was a reality check to be dropped by Manchester City.
The England right-back was on the bench for three consecutive Premier League games, including a crunch clash with title rivals Liverpool on January 3.
But Pep Guardiola put Walker back into the team for Monday’s 3-0 win against Wolves, who had Willy Boly sent off when one behind, at the Etihad Stadium on Monday.
Walker contributed to City’s first clean sheet in the Premier League since November as a Gabriel Jesus brace and Conor Coady’s late own goal earned the champions their fifth straight win in all competitions.
And the defender feels he has learned lessons by being given a spell on the sidelines by City manager Guardiola.
“It was disappointing to be left out of the Premier League line-up but it was a reality check to sit back and look on the bench,” he told Sky Sports.
“You probably learn more on the bench. I took it all on the chin and have to keep working hard.
“I don’t think anything has changed but we’re getting the rub of the green now.
“We are still in all four competitions but we have to close Liverpool down and win as many games as possible.”
11 – Gabriel Jesus has scored 11 goals in his last eight appearances for Man City in all competitions at the Etihad Stadium. Groove. pic.twitter.com/lEzFieI8mi
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 14, 2019
Gabriel Jesus struck twice in the first half to take his tally to seven strikes in City’s last three matches.
And the striker, who started with Sergio Aguero named on the bench, is relishing his improved spell of form.
“I know Sergio is an amazing player and helps me a lot, so when Sergio plays and helps the team and when I play I want to help as well,” Jesus said to Sky Sports.
“I play better, scoring goals is important to me because I am a striker and I need to score goals.”
Jesus shook off a sickening collision with the post as he sought to score again, the Brazil striker reassuring City fans he was not badly hurt.
“I’m good,” he added. “A little pain on the side [of his head]. It can be dangerous on the head but I am good.”
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