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Sticks and Stones may break my bones - Man City defender unhurt by criticism

Manchester City defender John Stones remains unperturbed by criticism of his performances and feels he is moving in the right direction at the Etihad Stadium.

The England international has had to contend with his fair share of detractors since leaving Everton for City ahead of the 2016-17 campaign, with fans and pundits alike questioning the centre-back's displays.

He looked vulnerable once more in City's 5-3 Champions League win over Monaco on Tuesday as he allowed Radamel Falcao too much space for the visitors' third goal, but Stones believes his struggles have been exaggerated.

"Criticism is always going to be harsh, so you have just got to take it in your stride and worry about yourself," Stones was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.

"Obviously the one-on-one with Falcao, I could have done a lot better with. I will try hard in training to work on it. I think there was a bit of an element of luck involved in it, but that is what happens sometimes.

"It works harshly against me, but there are a lot of things I will look at over and over again and see how I can improve. I think apart from that [his slip], we were quite solid and defended quite well except conceding three goals. 

"I think people have got behind me here and I know when I have had a good game or a bad game. I will always be honest with myself first to hold my hands up and say I made this mistake. 

"I think I can improve on it and move forward. I feel like I am going in the right direction.

"I think people can over-complicate things and think about things too much. I am enjoying my football massively. I think how the gaffer explains things to us and how hard we work on things in training, we know what to do in games. We know our jobs, which makes it easier for us as footballers both attacking and defending."