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Other SportsManchester City: Guardiola demands more from Grealish ahead of Luton test

Manchester City: Guardiola demands more from Grealish ahead of Luton test

Pep Guardiola has challenged Jack Grealish to improve his performances if he wants to get back in Manchester City’s starting line-up.

The England international has started just seven Premier League games this term – the last of which came against Sheffield United on December 30 – after being a mainstay of their treble triumph last season.

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Guardiola was candid in admitting he wants more from his £100million signing from Aston Villa.

He said: “He is the same player, he has the same manager, and the way we play has not changed.

“It’s just the way he has performed. That’s the difference.

“I said from day one, we need him. He has a special quality for our team. But it depends on him. Hopefully he can do a good last three months.”

City go to Luton tonight in the fifth round of the FA Cup with Guardiola ruling out making wholesale changes just to give players time to find their rhythm ahead of the season run-in.

“I cannot give players three or four games to get their rhythm,” insisted the former Barcelona boss. 

“They have to find the rhythm to play for 20 minutes or 90.

“At a high level, the team don’t wait to be fit. You cannot give someone three or four games to be fit. What about the 10 who don’t play? They deserve not to play?

“You have to see the training sessions and all the small details. The players don’t have to convince me. They have to convince themselves that they deserve to play.”

Another player whose future appears unclear is key midfielder Kevin De Bruyne with reports teams in Saudi Arabia are looking to take him to the Pro League in the summer.

Guardiola hopes the 32-year-old, who has a contract at the Etihad until 2025, will stay but he admits it will come down to the player’s wishes.

He said: “It’s a question for him, I’d love him to stay but I don’t know.

“I heard some links but I don’t know if there’s an offer, I don’t know if Saudi Arabia wants him. I would love him to stay until the end of his career, but everyone is everyone.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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