Vincent Kompany says his goal in Manchester City's 3-0 Premier League win at Southampton makes him feel like he is giving back to the fans following an injury-ravaged spell.
The City captain headed in the opener at St Mary's Stadium on Saturday, marking his first league goal since August 2015, though he has only played 17 games in the competition during that time.
Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero added to that effort to secure the points, moving City into third place above Liverpool and seven points clear of Everton and Manchester United, who have two games in hand.
And speaking to BT Sport after the game, Kompany said: "I don't really care too much about the goal, I'm happy it's helped my team.
"We're happy with the clean sheet and the performance. It's a tough place to come and to get such a result, our fans will be happy.
"For me it's always a long journey back. I would like to have been injured less in my career but every single time [I get injured] I put in the hard work and carry on.
"When something like this happens I feel like I'm giving something back to the team and the fans and that's what you see in those moments.
"It's ups and downs but what gets you up is you keep looking towards your objective.
"If I had to work for 15 years to have one moment like this I would do it. I am really happy and just want to stay in there.
"I'm happy today but I'll stay calm now and prepare for the next game."
On the significance of the result to City's top-four hopes, Kompany added: "We knew this game was massive for us. That's why there was so much pressure on this game.
"That's why, coming here and having such a performance, everyone in the team deserves top marks for that.
"For our team it's always this process of improving and getting better and you saw that today."
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