I will be even better when I gel with team: De Bruyne

LONDON • Manchester City's record signing Kevin de Bruyne believes his versatility will prove crucial for the side this season and is confident last Saturday's 2-1 defeat by West Ham was just a blip.

The Belgian, who pulled a goal back for City, said he was still finding his feet and that he could only improve as a player surrounded by a stellar cast at the club.

"I can only get better if I play with great players. This team has a lot of great players," he said. "I think when I know the team a bit better, I will get even more of the ball."

De Bruyne, who was mainly used in the No. 10 role by his former club Wolfsburg, said he is confident his ability to play across the forward line would add a different dimension to City's fearsome attack.

"I can play the three positions. Even if I am the No. 10, I change position so much."

City will need de Bruyne to be at his best today as they face Sunderland, the top flight's bottom club, in the League Cup.

The Manchester club, whose perfect start to the Premier League season was abruptly ended by the loss to West Ham, are looking for a League Cup fillip. City were also beaten 1-2 at home by Juventus in the Champions League last week.

De Bruyne believes City will prevail if they show a sharper cutting edge. "We just have to play like we did in the second half (against West Ham) but the only thing we have to do is score goals and then we can win that game," he said.

Sunderland's 0-2 loss at Bournemouth left them at the foot of the table. They go to Manchester United at the weekend but midfielder Jack Rodwell said they could not afford to feel sorry for themselves.

"We have got to pick ourselves up now," said the former City midfielder. "We have no time to dwell, but that is a good thing, and we can bounce back. Hopefully, we will do something good."

High-flying West Ham, third in the Premier League on the back of three consecutive victories, visit fourth-placed Leicester today.

Slaven Bilic's men also have a 100 per cent record on the road in domestic fixtures this term.

However, Michail Antonio, who arrived at Upton Park from Championship side Nottingham Forest last month, has warned that West Ham must not get carried away with their good start.

"We are not going to get excited and say we are going to win the league," he said.

"We are just going to come out and take every game as it goes," he told the club's official site.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2015, with the headline 'I will be even better when I gel with team: De Bruyne'. Print Edition | Subscribe