Yaya Toure is heaping praise on Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola as the midfielder seeks a place in January's Champions League squad.
“The most important thing is to help the team, and to also help the manager, who is very, very intelligent, very strong tactically," Toure said.
Toure was excluded from the current squad for Europe in September, with Guardiola's decision prompting criticism from Toure agent Dmitri Seluk. Guardiola responded by demanding an apology and sidelining Toure from the top side until he got it.
“I have to keep working because [Guardiola] is a very, very, very professional person and he really likes football," Toure said.
"I think when the team gets all of his ideas we are going to be a great team."
The impasse was broken on November 4 when Toure issued an apology on behalf of his agent.
Toure has targeted a place in the Champions League squad after an impressive return following the apology.
He hit a brace in his first outing against Crystal Palace in a 2-1 win that took City back to the top of the Premier League. He was also a big part of their next game, a win over Burnley.
“Of course, that's why I stayed at City,” the Ivory Coast player said of his chance at playing in Europe.
— Yaya Touré (@YayaToure) November 23, 2016
“I think that the most important thing for me is to keep working — those who work hardest always have more opportunities to play.”
His next chance to impress is on Friday when City face Chelsea.
City play Celtic on December 7 in their final Group C Champions League match. Their next game in Europe that Toure could be involved in would be in the knock-out stages, with City able to alter their squad after the January transfer window.