Manager Pep Guardiola believes it is a good sign if his Manchester City players are “angry” at being left out of the starting line-up.
Jeremy Doku scored and provided four assists in the 6-1 win against Bournemouth on Saturday.
The winger was on the bench for last week’s win at Manchester United, with Jack Grealish preferred, but roles were reversed when the Cherries visited.
“I want Jack [Grealish] angry and I want him to play good,” Guardiola said.
“And then Doku – be angry that he hasn’t played the last two games. This is the way to maintain the consistency at that level.”
With City moving to the top of the Premier League with Saturday’s win, Belgium international Doku, a £55.4m summer signing from Rennes, has settled quickly – scoring three goals across all competitions.
Doku, 21, is battling with England’s Grealish, who was an unused substitute at the weekend and is yet to score in the league this season, for a regular starting role in City’s attack.
Guardiola said: “As much as Jeremy and Jack perform, and I can play both at the same time, but when they don’t, train better the next day because the moment is coming, and when you are mentally there in the head you will perform well.
“The way he [Grealish] played at Old Trafford, to give us more composure and more powers in that position, it was decisive for us.
“We need everyone. There are a lot of games and everyone has to compete.
“Then we will win games and you will be happy and everyone will be happy. This is what we have to do.”
City host Swiss champions Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday (20:00 GMT).