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Kompany keen to return

"I finally got 90 minutes to run around and make some tackles and I really enjoyed it. I made a lot of good, strong challenges, which is a big part of my game.

"I'm looking forward to pushing for a first-team starting place. The competition doesn't bother me. I'm just as much competition to the others. I hope to be in there in the near future. I'm not there yet but I'm on my way. I'm starting to feel like I did when I first joined City last season. I feel like I can maybe reach even better levels than I did then.

"I'm happy, but I'm realistic as well. I know I need to be able to perform well consistently."

>>mcfc.co.uk

Kompany certainly finds himself in a tough spot at the moment.

Outstanding last season, his consistency and level of play stood out amist the sea change that Hughes was trying to introduce at the club. So much so that he was thought of as a front runner to take the captains armband.

Injury (ironically atrributed to playing through injury last season) curtailed his pre-season and it is only recently that he has returned to full fitness and ready for selection.

It is difficult to see where he will fit in though. In midfield, Nigel de Jong has been excellent in the holding role this season and arguably our most consistent performer so far. I don't see Hughes opting for two defensive-minded midfielders, preferring to us Gareth Barry in a more withdrawn role if required so unless de Jong suffers injury or a sudden loss of form he will struggle to regain his place there.

It is thought that the centre of defence is Kompany's best position, and this is an area often discussed in recent times. Kompany did fill in there at Birmingham and looked very assured. However, Kolo Toure has done little to warrant the axe and Joleon Lescott - for all his early stuggles - has looked more assured of late. Hughes will also be reluctant to jettison a player he invested so much time and money into acquiring.

Interesting also to note that last weekend at Anfield it was Nedum Onouha, and not Kompany who was brought onto to replace the injured Toure. This may have been because a more like for like move was sought but served to reinforce the difficulty that Kompany has in retaining the starting place he was so unlucky to lose.