Joleon ready to battle for his place
- Mon 06 Dec 2010, 2:03PM
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
Joleon Lescott is prepared to fight for his place in the City side after helping City shut out Bolton on Saturday.
The England international made the most of the chance that came his way when he replaced the injured Kolo Toure after 31 minutes, and if the Ivorian does not recover in time then Joleon could get the chance to start at Upton Park.
Competition in the Blues squad is fierce and the 28-year-old has started only five times in the Barclays Premier League this season, but Joleon is prepared to battle for his place, saying:
“I’m fully committed to Manchester City. It’s going to be tough, every player in the squad knows that if they go out of the side the player coming in is just as good. We all know there is healthy competition here.
“I was fortunate to be in a great team at Wolves in the Championship, then I played near enough every game at Everton. Coming here I felt I was going to play, and I did under Mark Hughes, but this season I have not played as often as I would like. But with the way Vinnie and Kolo are playing, I can’t really complain.
I like to think I can play in the team, and that I am as good as Vinnie or Kolo, but when that chance comes you have to take it.
Saturday's win, coupled with results elsewhere, cemented City's position in fourth place, just three points off the top of the table. While the greater amount of possession was not turned into a bigger winning margin, Joleon still took great professional pride in ensuring that the Blues held on for the victory.
"It’s probably a bit more exciting and it means a bit more to get that kind of a 1-0 win," he reflected. "We’ve kept a few clean sheets this season, but we knew that Bolton was going to be a tough test, and maybe last season we could have failed that kind of test.
"We should have had more of a lead in the first half and into the second. They were not half-chances either, they were decent opportunities to score, but sometimes you have to win the game with your defence.
"It’s nice to see the results of the teams around us when they don’t do as well as they would have liked, but our main focus is on our games. If they lose, we don’t think too much about it, we just concentrate on our next game and what to do."
And that next game is away to West Ham, sure to be no pushovers at home but at the same time Joleon is sure Avram Grant's side will have taken note of City's run of six games unbeaten in the league.
"In previous years, we may have failed at those kinds of hurdles but we’re a bit more resilient this season. We’ve kept a few clean sheets and we look harder to beat, so I don’t think West Ham will look forward to us going there."