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Phil Foden believes he is back to his best now after what he had termed one of the worst spells of his career and feels he has taken his game to the next level by showing his maturity.
The Manchester City winger has scored four goals in his last three games, including the opener in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle, but had been hampered by injury and struggling to get in the team before then.
Foden, who had a problem with his foot that he aggravated in January’s Manchester derby defeat, only started three of City’s first 13 games after the World Cup.
The England international said: “I’m feeling back sharp now – back to my best. I feel like I’m a bit more mature, I feel I can play a lot of different positions very well and I feel like I’ve taken my game to the next step.”
Foden admitted after the FA Cup victory over Bristol City that he had endured one of the toughest times so far and said: “It was a difficult moment for me, I just tried to work hard in training to get back to my levels. Put the effort in and now you are seeing the rewards.”
Foden said the loss to Manchester United hurt him in more ways than one, as his foot injury got worse. “Yes, it was the derby, I had it just before but it wasn’t too serious then,” he added. “I damaged it a bit more against United. Unfortunately [on Saturday] I’ve kind of hurt it again but now I need to rest up. We’ve got two days off now so hopefully I’ll have the chance to rest it.
“Sometimes it is rest you need. It’s one of those injuries where physios can’t really help. It goes when it goes, you have to learn how to manage it. Whether it’s not training as much, just doing partial training, trying to look after it, I’m just trying to find that balance, trying to keep feeling good.”
Foden, who excelled on the right wing against Newcastle, can operate on either flank and said: “I’ve been doing well on the right at the moment but I enjoy both. I feel like on the right is a little bit easier because I come inside on to my left foot. I seem to score doing either and do well.”
But he would like to play in a deeper role in the future, explaining: “It’s something I definitely want to move into over the next few years. I’ve always seen myself playing there. Hopefully I can adapt and become a midfielder: that’s my aim. I feel like I could possibly get a chance there. I love to score goals and the manager sees that and prefers me wide. I enjoy playing anywhere.”