Manuel Pellegrini has challenged Samir Nasri to maintain the superb form he showed in the Manchester derby -- and warned him he may be back on the bench if he does not.
Nasri played a part in each of Manchester City's first three goals in the 4-1 win over Manchester United before scoring the last himself and he earned the praise of Pellegrini.
It marked a change in fortunes for the France international, who has admitted he was disappointed with his performances last season, when former manager Roberto Mancini said he wanted to punch him for performing below his best.
And Pellegrini has urged Nasri to show his ability consistently, saying: "In this moment Nasri is playing very well. I talk often with him because I know how much he can do as a big player. I am always evaluating his performance and he knows he must play the way I know he can."
Nasri began the season among the replacements after Pellegrini signed Spain winger Jesus Navas, but he got back into the City side when David Silva was injured.
"If he doesn't do it maybe we have other choices but Nasri is absolutely committed with the team and with me, all the other players," Pellegrini added. "We hope we will see a great Nasri the whole year.
"He is a player that has great technical quality and he works a lot in the game. He is not only in the last 25 metres -- he runs back. He is a very creative player."