Kevin de Bruyne has cooled concerns over Manchester City’s defensive options after Fernandinho was sent off in their 3-0 win against Aston Villa.
The Brazilian midfielder was moved back to the centre of defence after injuries to Aymeric Laporte, Rodri and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
But he was sent off after accumulating two yellow cards in the dying embers of the match - and will join defenders Nicolas Otamendi, Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker in having missed game time this season.
The imminent suspension has lead to home fears about their ability to compete on all fronts, although the win against Villa reduced the gap to league leaders Liverpool to just three points.
And De Bruyne brushed aside any concerns over his lack of availability for their next match - against Southampton in the League Cup.
“It’s part of the game and it’s not nice as you want everyone to be there but it’s OK,” the Belgium star told BT Sport.
Despite controlling the opening exchanges, City missed their chances while the Villans almost scored through John McGinn and Douglas Luiz.
But the hosts came roaring back through Raheem Sterling, De Bruyne himself and Ilkay Gundogan - who all scored in the second half.
De Bruyne added: “I think we had some difficulty with a lack of intensity and the rhythm wasn’t there but we started the second half really well.
“We’re just doing our job – it’s such a difficult division – so let’s keep going.”
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