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Mahrez opens up on Man City struggles after joining from Leicester

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Riyad Mahrez accepts his form at the start of his Manchester City career was not good enough, but insists he is a more confident player after overcoming his initial struggles.

Mahrez joined City from Leicester in 2018 for a fee of £60m, but found himself third-choice on the wing behind Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. The Algerian did make 44 appearances in all competitions, but just 26 of those were starts, and just 16 of those saw Mahrez complete the full 90 minutes.

Still, a return of 12 goals and 12 assists was promising, and reflected a stronger second half to the season which saw him score a brilliant goal in City's crucial win at Brighton which clinched the Premier League title.

Reflecting on his turbulent season, Mahrez accepted that his struggles for game time was fair, as he discussed his form with Sky Sports.

"At City, the team is built to win every game. We try to win everything we're playing for," he said.

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"Last year, when I arrived, the manager trusted me and believed in me, but I didn't make the difference as quick as they thought I would.

"At a club like City, they don't have time to wait because we are 20 players, top players. I was on the bench and the other players were performing, so it was difficult for me to come back.

"Then more to the end of the season I came back, I played good and I start this season differently. Now when he played me I was performing, so the confidence is here."

Mahrez has enjoyed more playing time this season, in part due to the injury suffered by Sane in August, and he needs one more goal or assist to equal his tally from last season, having played 37 times.

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Expanding on what parts of his game he had to adapt at City, Mahrez compared the different approaches of former club Leicester and title-chasers City.

He explained: "When I arrived at City, I noticed how everyone sits back so you have to think differently.

"You have to deal differently with your opponent, and in my case the left-back because he's always in front of me. They also always have help around him, with a midfielder or the winger, so you have to change your play and your movement.

"You have to adapt to this... it took me a little bit of time but now I feel I'm set up very well."

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