Ruben Dias has admitted the frantic schedule this season has given him little time to get the full benefit of Pep Guardiola’s coaching but feels he is settling in well at Manchester City.
Dias joined from Benfica on September 29 and made his debut away to Leeds a few days later before the international break took him back to Portugal.
The 23-year-old impressed during his second City appearance against Arsenal at the weekend and is certain to start Wednesday night’s Champions League match against Porto.
It has been a busy start to life in Manchester but one Dias is enjoying.
“Obviously I’ve not been here for a long time but every day is a new opportunity,” Dias said.
“We haven’t had much time to train, it’s more playing, rest, training and playing again but of course you can start feeling the influence of the manager and the influence of the players and it’s been good.
“I’m really happy to be here and to have the opportunity to play in (the Champions League). It was obviously one of the reasons I came here. Because of the way the club plays to win, especially in this competition, I’m looking forward to it.”
City were frustrated to be knocked out by Lyon at the quarter-final stage of last season’s competition in August, but are once again among the favourites to lift the European Cup this time around.
Some pre-Porto training 🤩🇵🇹
— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 20, 2020
“Manchester City are in a big group of top teams that can win,” Dias said. “Some are close, some are a little bit further away but every year starts from zero.
“It is a new year and there are new players getting into the team. We will make a re-set with all the things that have been done until now and we will try to just keep getting better and better.”
The Lyon defeat still rankles with City, and Pep Guardiola admitted on Tuesday he “still feels responsible” for the disappointment it caused.
The frustration could now become fuel as they launch a fresh assault on the competition most desired by the club’s hierarchy.
“It’s incredible to be in this competition,” Guardiola said. “This is just the first game, then there will be the second and we will see how far and how big we can think.”
And Guardiola emphasised the importance of making a winning start at the Etihad.
“Every game is important because every game is three points, but you cannot deny when you play the first game away it’s not the same as if the first game is at home,” he said.
“It’s vital for us to get three points.”