The French midfielder has often struggled for the form he showed at Arsenal since moving to City nearly two years ago, and was heavily criticised by manager Roberto Mancini earlier this year.
It was initially suggested Nasri had disagreed with the Italian's assessment of him, but the 25-year-old claims he understood Mancini's comments.
"I didn't take it the wrong way," Nasri told The Times. "I agreed with him. I knew. Sometimes I don't need him to tell me because I'm professional. When I go home, I watch the games again.
"I know if I've played well or if I've played s*** and for eight months I wasn't good. I understand what the manager was saying, because it must be frustrating when you have a quality player and he doesn't perform and you don't know why because you try to play him there, play him there, but he still doesn't perform.
"So at some point you have no choice but to put him on the bench and you go to the press to try to get a reaction. And it worked.
"Before, I wasn't very good at accepting public criticism. But he (Mancini) just wants the best from his players on the pitch because he has to win. If he doesn't, he gets fired."
One particular incident which drew criticism was Nasri's decision to turn his back on a Robin van Persie free-kick during December's Manchester derby.
City had recovered from 2-0 to be level but, as Nasri turned away, the ball went where he would have been and on into the goal.
The former Arsenal man admits the incident almost left close to tears as he was so upset with himself.
"I don't know what went through my head," Nasri said of that moment. "I don't know how many times I was thinking about it afterwards. Eventually I had to turn off the TV. My dad said, 'Why are you scared of the ball, do you think it's going to burn you or something?'
"At the time I almost cried I was so upset with myself. How could you do that? It was a derby and with a draw we'd have stayed a few points behind them but they won it and it was a big moment in the title race."