Yaya Toure has vowed to keep working hard following his Manchester City recall.
The midfielder was frozen out of the first-team picture by manager Pep Guardiola in September following comments by his agent, Dimitri Seluk.
But Toure, 33, apologised and was brought back in for the Premier League victory at Crystal Palace a fortnight ago.
He retained his place for last week's win at Burnley and was among the substitutes for Saturday's big clash with Chelsea.
Speaking in the matchday programme, Toure said: "On a personal level, I have to keep working because Pep is a very, very professional person and he really loves football.
"I think that the most important thing for me is to keep working hard - those who work hardest always have more opportunities to play. I'm delighted to play, I always want to play and help my team-mates."
Four-time winner Yaya Toure has failed to make the five-man shortlist for the African Player of the Year award.
The Manchester City midfielder has just returned to favour with his club, making his first Premier League appearance of the season on Saturday and scoring twice in a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.
His long period of inactivity has seen Toure, who was angry at not winning the last African award, miss out on selection from the voting panel.
Premier League stars Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane and Islam Slimani are among the five in contention for the prize, along with defending winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and former Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah.
The award winner will be announced on January 5, the African football confederation (CAF) said.
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Yaya Toure's agent Dimitri Seluk has taken another swipe at Pep Guardiola by calling on the Manchester City hierarchy to rebuke their manager over his treatment of the Ivorian.
Guardiola left Toure out of City's Champions League squad and is refusing consider picking the 33-year-old again unless Seluk apologises for a series of derogatory public comments.
They must say to Guardiola, ‘Yaya is our family’. How is it possible to speak like this? It is not correct to do that. It is not correct to give up on a top-class player. But this is his decision - he is a good coach but his personality is s***.
If Yaya is on the field or not, everyone will ask: ‘What is this decision from Guardiola?’
Normally a person cannot make a decision like this. And it is England, not North Korea or Afghanistan — so people will discuss whether it is right and they will have their opinions.
OK, Guardiola has won matches this season, so everyone must only see his fantastic football.
But his personality is far from great. I repeat the message from everywhere that he has been from Barcelona to Bayern Munich. Many people don’t like him.
Many people don’t understand how it is possible to do what he has done with players.
Yaya Toure's agent has claimed talks are being held with Inter Milan over a summer move.
Speculation about the Manchester City midfielder's future has been an ongoing theme and it appears he could reunite with former City boss Roberto Mancini at San Siro.
Toure, who has a year to run on his contract, was allowed to leave Barcelona by incoming City manager Pep Guardiola in 2010 and agent Dimitri Seluk claims the club are keen to sell the Ivory Coast international.
Seluk told calciomercato.it: "It's true, we're talking with Mancini.
"We're looking for a solution with Manchester City, who want to sell Yaya Toure only up front, not on loan.
"I can't say if there are other teams interested. He has a contract, but nothing special. Inter? It's a good club."
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