John Stones believes the fight to earn a place in Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up will ensure there is no let-up from Manchester City’s players this season.

City eased to a comfortable 2-0 win over Fulham on Saturday to give Guardiola victory in his 250th game in charge of the club and his 700th in management.

Raheem Sterling’s goal and a Kevin De Bruyne penalty secured the points as City recorded back-to-back victories in the Premier League for the first time this season.

After a slow start to the campaign City have looked more like their old selves of late and have scored as many goals in their last two league games (seven) as they had in the previous seven.

Stones said the improvement can be credited in part to the standards required to be in a team selected by Guardiola, who did not make a substitution in a league game for the first time in 416 games as a manager during stints with City, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

He told BT Sport: “The manager demands a lot from us and expects a lot from us. We’re all fighting for our places. When we get our chance, you have to take it. It gives us healthy competition.

“We know what’s expected of us. We know if we don’t deliver, there’s always somebody fighting for that spot. It’s what’s done us so well in the last five years. Everybody has high standards and we try to keep them there.

“I said before the game it was another step forward and a chance to put a mark on the season.

“We’re solely focused on each game and this one we did, came through with three points and everybody’s words transpired onto the pitch. We have to keep this winning mentality going.

“We said after the Champions League game that we wanted another clean sheet and to keep that run going.”

Belgium midfielder De Bruyne was particularly influential for City in the victory over the Cottagers with a goal and an assist.

Bruyne has 14 assists in the Premier League in 2020 which is the most of any player in the competition, and more than twice as many as any other City player.

The match was also the 16th time De Bruyne has both scored and assisted in a Premier League game and no player has done so more often in that time (level with Mohammed Salah).

“We know the quality from Kevin with goals and assists,” Guardiola said.

“He’s so important for us. Just look at how he runs and fights as a modern footballer today. He is an example of this. He puts all this together and every season it’s massive.

“It’s important that we won and that defenders don’t make mistakes and we don’t gift goals.”