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Saturday 21 October 2017

Toure answers his critics on the pitch

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure insisted the criticism was not bothering him after underlining his class with the decisive strike at Aston Villa.

Toure, who was the driving force for City's Premier League title triumph last season, has been below his best in the opening two months of the new campaign and his performances have been highlighted.

And coming after an unsettled summer in which he voiced some complaints about the club - including a bizarre gripe about how his birthday was celebrated - and lost his brother to cancer, there also has been speculation over his future. But the former Barcelona player claims such negativity is not new to him and he is focused only on delivering on the pitch.

The 31-year-old proved his value when he broke the deadlock with a fine 82nd-minute strike at Villa Park on Saturday, setting up a 2-0 win which was later completed by Sergio Aguero.

Toure, who scored 20 Premier League goals last season, said: "Sometimes people are forgetting I am a midfielder. My job is not to score all the goals. My job is to try to keep the team playing well, give the good pass.

"If I get the opportunity to score it is fantastic. Last year was quite open for me, I was in good positions, but I was quite lucky because I was getting free-kicks and some penalties as well.

"Now the criticism is coming because I am not scoring but, for me, to not score is normal because I am midfielder.

"For me I am one of the guys who has experience. I have played for a big side in Europe and I know what criticism is. For me it doesn't matter. If they want, they can continue.

"The most important thing, at the end of the day, if we have won the Premier League or won something, I think they will try to shut (up) a little bit.

"For me we are just in the beginning. We have to concentrate and be strong. The most important thing is for me to help the team. My job is to control the team, try to balance the team, shift the ball side to side. My job is not to score the goals."

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