MADRID: Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has quashed speculation that he is unhappy despite conceding that he has been going through a tough time.
The Spain international moved to the Catalan giants at the beginning of last season and though he started brightly, his form eventually suffered. However, he remains confident that he will get back to his best.
"I've been playing in the top flight for nine years now and it isn't the first or second time that I've had a spell like this. I'm playing with a smile on my face and I still believe in my abilities," he was quoted by Marca.
Recently, Fabregas has been afforded more playing time under new boss Tito Vilanova, which has buoyed his spirits though he re-emphasized that it is the team that is the No. 1 priority.
"I've been feeling good and I'm happy. And the team's been winning too. I care more about the team winning than what people say about me. Scoring is important, but I've got more important tasks than that," he continued.
The former Arsenal captain described his team's current eight-point advantage over Real Madrid in La Liga as "decent" heading into the first Clasico on Oct. 7.
"It's a decent advantage we want to keep it for as long as possible. It's difficult because we all know that the Spanish league is very competitive. We're hosting Madrid in a few weeks and it'll be a tough game, but we believe in our style," he added.
Despite Mourinho's side's poor start to La Liga, Cesc still sees them as his side's biggest rival.
"They've had a difficult time, but during a full league season there are always good times too, key moments, because it isn't possible to be at 100 per cent for the full nine months of competition. But it's still Madrid, we know it and whether they're on form or not we need to keep being ourselves," he concluded.