‘Don’t be frustrated’ – Pep Guardiola tells young star that opportunities will come

‘Don’t be frustrated’ – Pep Guardiola tells young star that opportunities will come

Pep Guardiola has told Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden that he will get more opportunities to play in the remainder of the season.

The youngster was handed his first start for a month in Saturday’s draw at Nottingham Forest. Previously, Foden had been forced to watch on from the bench in City’s last four league matches, coming on in three of those games.

He was last handed a start by Guardiola in the Manchester Derby in mid-January, with his lack of opportunities coming due to the club’s star-studded squad.

Guardiola tells Foden not to be frustrated

While Guardiola says that Foden has been training well, the youngster must compete with his talented teammates when it comes to getting onto the pitch.

Unfortunately for the 22-year-old, he is battling it out with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Rodri and Kalvin Phillips when it comes to midfield options.

And should Guardiola wish to play Foden further forward, he must consider dropping the likes of Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez.

“He has to compete with everyone else,” said Guardiola, as per LiveScore. “He trained really well with the other players. The competition is for them. What I have to say is don’t be frustrated, perform as best as possible. And after that it will be easy.”

Foden ‘played really good’

It certainly wasn’t a positive afternoon for Guardiola as his side drew 1-1 with Nottingham Forest, with City slipping back to second in the table as Arsenal defeated Aston Villa 4-2.

The Manchester outfit are now on 52 points, with league leaders Arsenal on 54, with Mikel Arteta’s men also having a game in hand over City.

Despite the draw at mid-table Forest, Guardiola was full of praise for the “aggressive” Foden. The manager did, however, note that the youngster wasn’t as sharp as he could have been due to a lack of minutes in recent matches.

“He played really good,” said Guardiola. “First half he was so aggressive against [Renan] Lodi and he arrived many times to the byline. Still he didn’t have the poise or composure that he had because it’s normal, because he didn’t play much.”


Guardiola to focus on Europe?

With the draw, City are not only in danger of losing ground in the title race, but will also be wary of the presence of Manchester rivals Man Utd.

Erik ten Hag’s side are just three points behind City after easing past Leicester 3-0 on Sunday. The Red Devils are on a fine run, and certainly don’t look like slowing down anytime soon.

The potential dip from City comes at a busy time, with the club travelling to Germany on Wednesday to take on RB Leipzig in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 encounter.

The English side then have meetings at Bournemouth and Bristol City in the Premier League and FA Cup fifth round respectively to see out the month of February. March then begins in tricky fashion with a league fixture against high-flying Newcastle.

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