David Silva has admitted it is taking him longer than he would have liked to get accustomed to life in the Premier League.
One of Manchester City’s big-money summer signings, the 24-year-old has struggled to adapt to the English game.
Late to report back for pre-season training following Spain’s successful World Cup quest, Silva has been playing catch-up for fitness ever since.
His slightly-built frame also needed to get used to the physical nature of the Premier League.
As a result, Silva has been restricted to just 16 minutes of Premier League action since the opening day draw.
And, while he was in Roberto Mancini’s starting line-up for the two-legged Europa League qualifier against Timisoara, the £24m arrival from Valencia is yet to impress in a City shirt.
There have even been some suggestions from Spain that Silva is missing life at home and wants to return.
It is speculation he refutes, even if he accepts the transition is proving to be a slow one.
“I am getting there, just more slowly than I would have liked,” he told www.mcfc.co.uk.
“It’s not just about playing games, it’s about getting more training sessions under your belt – something I have been able to do more of lately.”
Like team-mate James Milner, Silva feels the packed autumn fixture list will be to City’s advantage as Mancini gets the opportunity to give his entire squad some competitive action on a regular basis.
“Physically, I am feeling better day by day,” he said.
“I need to get a few more minutes on the pitch to get to optimum fitness levels and I am sure that will happen with so many games coming up.”
The same statement could have been made of so many City players.
Saturday’s disappointing home draw with Blackburn has left the Blues trailing league leaders Chelsea by seven points.
However, given the sluggish start endured by the remainder of the Premier League, with the exception of Arsenal, City have not fallen too far off the pace.
And, as they look ahead to Thursday’s Europa League group opener against Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Silva is confident a good season is in prospect.
“We have a great squad but it takes time for all the new players to adapt and gel together,” he said.
“We may have lost and drawn the last couple of league games, but we will soon start climbing the table and I am sure we will have a very good season.”
One player who will not be involved any time soon is striker Mario Balotelli.
The Italy international, who signed for the Eastlands outfit in such a blaze of publicity, suffered a knee injury on his debut in Romania that has ruled him out for a couple of months.
Mancini has opted to let Balotelli begin the first stages of his rehabilitation programme in Italy, but it is likely to be November before he is ready for a first-team return.