Pep Guardiola praised “special guy” John Stones and said the defender was set for further opportunities with Manchester City.
Stones started alongside Ruben Dias in the centre of defence as City booked their place in the Champions League last 16 with a 1-0 win over Olympiacos on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old won all five of his duels and his three clearances were a team-high.
While the defender has made four appearances in European competition, he has been limited to just one in the Premier League – against Wolves in September.
But Guardiola expects Stones to get more chances for City after finding some form.
“At the end I judge the players on what they do right now, in the present. John played with Ruben, they played well,” the City manager told reporters.
“I’m happy, especially, especially, especially, happy with John because he’s a special guy for me. We arrived together here, we spend all the time together.
“He was injured, had personal issues and now he’s settled again, with his confidence and performance like last time he will have chances to show his quality in this team.”
A frosty Friday session
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Dias, meanwhile, has settled quickly at City after arriving from Benfica in September, making nine starts in all competitions.
As City prepare to host Burnley on Saturday, Guardiola praised the defender’s form.
“Ruben is playing every week and every game because he doesn’t make mistakes. He leads the line and does absolutely everything almost perfectly. That’s why he plays,” he said.
“It doesn’t depend on what he has done in the past and who you are in the past. We have to win in our position every three days. As a manager, when a guy plays good you have more chance [to play] of course.
“There will be some players who are playing well but I will rotate the team so they don’t get injured, they will be rotated. But with other issues when they are playing well they have more chance to continue on the pitch.”
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