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Joleon Lescott pitches for new contract at Manchester City

Joleon Lescott is hopeful of extending his contract at Manchester City, with the defender having two years remaining on his present deal.

The 30-year-old is facing a fight for his starting place under Roberto Mancini, having scored but been at fault for Arsenal's equaliser in Sunday's 1-1 draw at the Etihad. This followed Lescott being dropped for last week's Champions League defeat at Real Madrid, with the 19-year-old Matija Nastasic handed a debut at the Bernabéu.

Lescott said: "I've got this [season] and one more. I would love to extend it and finish my career here but's that for another day. I'm just focused on doing the job this season and, if that brings an extension, then great. Going knocking on doors isn't really my style. That's not in my character and I don't think my mum would be very happy with me if I did that. I just continue to play well and do a professional job.

"I know where I've come from. A few years ago I was playing at Plymouth on Tuesday nights, now Tuesday nights mean Champions League. I'm grateful for what I have, so I won't be rocking the boat."

Lescott admitted he blundered with the poor header from a late corner that went straight to Laurent Koscielny, who equalised to deny City victory.

"It came at me really quickly but I probably should have done better. You want to play in every game but the manager picks the team he believes can win that particular game. So when you get in there you have to show consistency and focus.

"It hurt [to be left out at the Bernabéu]. I wanted to play. It's a great stadium, it was a great occasion but you have to respect the manager's decision and pick yourself up and support the lads. Matija has been training with us for a couple of weeks now. He's an international, he played a lot of games for Fiorentina and he's looked strong.

"I just have to work hard. It's happened before over the last couple of seasons. I've played, been left out. It's happened during my career and I'm ready for the fight. But we're all together and we have the same goal, which is to win trophies.

"The team was named and I wasn't in it. The manager gets paid to make those decisions and he has to live by them; he gets the plaudits when it turns out to be the right one. He takes it all on his shoulders and we have to respect what he decides to do."

City are four points behind the Premier League leaders, Chelsea, after five games that have included three draws. "We haven't performed as well as we did last season but it's about results and they've not been too bad. We're still in there with a shout," Lescott said.

The defender finds the stuttering start difficult to explain. "It's hard to say. Last year we set the league alight – keeping clean sheets, scoring three or four goals – but it can't be like that every week," he said. "We haven't kept clean sheets [this season] but we've shown different aspects of our game, our togetherness."

City host Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday evening with Mancini's plans still under wraps. "The manager hasn't said how he'll approach it. It's a quick turn-around but we have such depth in the squad I'm sure there'll be changes," Lescott said.

The League Cup is the only domestic competition City have yet to win under Mancini. "Yeah, so maybe we should go all guns blazing to try to get it," Lescott said. "Whatever team the manager puts out will be a strong one, so I'm sure we can have a go at it.

"We'd definitely like to win it. We'd take anything, any trophy. When you get to the latter stages of this competition it's up there with anything."

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Jamie Jackson, for The Guardian on Monday 24th September 2012 22.58 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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