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Other SportsGuardiola wants Grealish to take 'next step' after hitting the goal trail

Guardiola wants Grealish to take ‘next step’ after hitting the goal trail

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has called on Jack Grealish to take the “next step” and add regular goals and assists to his game after netting in back-to-back Premier League matches.

Grealish scored his first goal of the season as City played out a dramatic 3-3 draw with Tottenham in early December, before netting the winner in a 2-1 victory over Luton Town last Sunday.

The former Aston Villa man has yet to score more than six goals in a season for City since his 2021 arrival, netting five times in 50 appearances as they won the treble last campaign.

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With leading goalscorer Erling Haaland sidelined by a foot injury, Grealish will likely join Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden in a fluid City frontline when Crystal Palace visit the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, and Guardiola is looking for him to kick on.

“Jack has to demand for himself to score goals, win games, make assists,” Guardiola said. “There are other qualities he has; keeping the ball and making extra passes, but the next step is that.

“In the last two games he scored goals. He started a little bit late and many things happened with injuries. Hopefully he can get that rhythm as quickly as possible because we need him.”

Grealish has predominantly played from the left since joining City in a £100million deal two years ago, but Guardiola believes the 28-year-old has the flexibility to occupy other roles.

Asked if Grealish had worked on perfecting other positions, Guardiola said: “We don’t have time to work! Yesterday was recovery and today its pre-match. We don’t have time.

“Sometimes players understand without training sessions, sometimes players do it in 15 or 20 minutes. Jack is such a smart player and he would get it immediately.

“The good players can play in different positions, can play through the middle. He’s a typical number 10, I would say, behind the striker.

“But at Aston Villa he played on the wing, and here as well. He can play different positions, of course.

“At the beginning of the season when he first arrived, I remember against Watford he was the false nine and he felt comfortable, so he can play in different positions, yeah.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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