John Stones disagrees with Kevin De Bruyne's Nations League criticism

John Stones has disagreed with his Manchester City teammate Kevin De Bruyne's very honest assessment of the UEFA Nations League.

The centre-back is part of the England squad preparing to face Germany in Munich on Tuesday night in Group A3, in what is the second game of a marathon four-match international window that came straight off the back of the end of the club season.

That scheduling led Stones' City teammate De Bruyne to rubbish the competition ahead of Belgium's opening game against the Netherlands last week, with the midfield dynamo labelling it "just glorified friendlies".

Asked for his opinion on his club-mate's comments in a press conference ahead of the Three Lions' clash with Germany, Stones evidently had a differing point of view.

"I speak on my personal experience when I was out of the team, like any other player it hurt, you want to be here and you have to deserve to be here," he said. "So when you’re here you’ve got to make the most of it, to play in big games like this you can only cherish the moment and maximise the chances in front of you.

"We can’t control our fixtures and when we’re playing, we have to look at the positive side and go with it. I see it as a massive learning curve and a big step in the right direction to set us up for the World Cup."

England slipped to an unexpected defeat in their opening Nations League game against Hungary on Saturday, with Gareth Southgate's men looking lethargic in Budapest. However, Stones insisted that wasn't the result of a lack of desire at the end of the season.

“I think it’s easy [to be up for it], you’ve got to be always ready and fighting, the feeling in the camp, the feeling around the place as players, we’d play all year round if we could," Stones continued.

"We’re there, we’re willing, we know how important this period is for us, there are not many games leading up to the World Cup, everyone is fighting for their place, trying to play well and create partnerships, learning each other's games."

England manager Southgate echoed those sentiments, suggesting the heat in the Hungarian capital had played a 'huge' part.

"We are going to push," he said. "We want to perform well. We will manage their load. Every one of them wants to play tomorrow night.

"There is huge motivation in the group. I don't think the long season was the cause of the result the other day. The heat was a huge factor.

"To talk about the season is a psychological thing. It is no different to going into the Euros or the World Cup."

Source : 90min