Guardiola even better than I expected - Stones

Manchester City defender John Stones says working with Pep Guardiola has been even better than he predicted, despite question marks over their form in recent weeks.

City have won just two of their previous seven games in all competitions and have lost their last two Premier League matches against leaders Chelsea and champions Leicester City.

A poor back-pass from Stones allowed Jamie Vardy to complete his hat-trick in Leicester's 4-2 win on Saturday, with City's poor all-round defensive display prompting scrutiny of Guardiola's training methods.

But Stones, who joined from Everton in August for a fee that could reportedly reach £50million, maintains that Guardiola is the best in the game.

"He was 100 per cent a major factor, if not the main reason for me coming," the England international told the Times of India. "There's a lot of factors to think about when you're moving clubs but in my eyes, he's the best manager in the world to work with.

"To be given that opportunity to work with him, I couldn't say no. And working with him has been even better than I expected."

Stones admits he is far from the standards that he wishes to hit under Guardiola and says the former Bayern Munich boss will always make it clear when he expects more from his players.

"He will certainly tell you when something is wrong," he said. "It's part of football, being told off now and again. You are going to make mistakes. That's how it is. That's also how you learn and react. I think that's how every player moves on.

"I'm always the first person to know or say I've made a mistake. I'll do that openly ­because that's the only way you move forward and realise what you have done wrong.

"I'm striving to be a top player. I know I've got a lot of hard work to get through before I'm winning titles and becoming the player I want to be. But that's the aim."

Stones is eager to return to winning ways against Watford at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday after revealing his frustration at the 3-1 defeat they suffered to Chelsea in their last home match.

"There was a real sour feeling running through everyone's minds after we lost," added the 22-year-old. "It was a difficult one to take.

"I don't think the score reflected the way we played. In my opinion, it should have been us three and them one, but that's football. You have to put that to one side and just go and win games."

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