Nastasic proud of progress
Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic is proud to have ousted Joleon Lescott from the team's starting line-up in his debut season with the Premier League champions.
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Lescott's partnership with Vincent Kompany was a key factor in City's title triumph but Nastasic has enjoyed an impressive first campaign following his arrival from Fiorentina.
And the 19-year-old Serbia international is pleased to have broken into the team and shown his ability to adapt so quickly to life in England.
5. Matija Nastasic
"I'm very proud of that because Joleon is a great player," said Nastasic.
"But it's not really important who plays as long as the team does well. I'm very happy about the way I have adapted to English football and everything is going well for me at the moment."
"But I didn't expect it to come so soon - certainly not in the first six months. I noticed in the first couple of games that I could settle in and play, and that gave me confidence."
"My first two games gave me confidence to play because I noticed that I could cope with the Premier League."
"It's certainly a different league than Serie A in Italy. It's also very difficult to play there, but I'm happy here in English football."
"The main difference is that in Italy it's a very tactical game. Teams get a lot of players behind the ball. Here the games are more open and the challenges are stronger."
One man used to strong challenges is fellow Serb Nemanja Vidic and Nastasic revealed that the rivalry with the Manchester United skipper had not prevented his compatriot being a huge help.
"When I arrived, I asked him for advice. I spoke with him then and still speak with him," added the youngster.
"He gave me general advice, not just about football but about lifestyle and young players adapting to English football. For me, he is a great friend and a great person."