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Having pulled out of the England squad in March, Stones returned to the City line-up in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid

Manchester City defender John Stones is trying to block out the “outside noise” ahead of a “vital” week with games against Liverpool and Atletico Madrid.

However, England centre-back Stones says Sunday’s game against Liverpool will not define who wins the league.

“I don’t think so,” Stones told BBC Radio Manchester.

City host the Reds with a one-point lead at the top and eight games left.

Stones added: “I suppose I don’t think too much like that because you can get carried away. We’re first and second in the table, everyone knows that.

“We have to concentrate on us and how we play our football and don’t change our football.

“This week is vital for us – and how we prepare, we stay calm because we’ve been in situations like this before.”

City’s victory over Burnley at Turf Moor returned Pep Guardiola’s side to the league summit just hours after Liverpool had claimed top spot by beating Watford.

Having edged past Atletico at the Etihad Stadium, City face a crunch 10-day period in their quest for a Treble with Sunday’s game against Liverpool followed by the return leg in Madrid against Atletico on 13 April. An FA Cup semi-final with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds will then follow at Wembley three days later.

While it could easily be identified as a make-or-break period, Stones – who returned from injury in the win over Atletico – says the City squad are unaffected by the hype surrounding the climax to the season.

The 27-year-old added: “We don’t get sucked into the outside noise. We just concentrate on what we do and we’ve done that for all the time I’ve been here, been very focused and tunnel vision on what’s ahead of us.

“What we want to get out of these things and what we’re striving to achieve – and that’s another hurdle for us to get over and be successful.

“Everyone in that dressing room wants to come out on the winning side and we’ll do everything in our power to do that.

“I just focus on what I need to do, don’t think about the outside. We’re human beings and we know what’s riding on this game and how important it is to us.

“Every game this season has been a final for us, that’s how we approach it.”

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