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FootballMan City: Guardiola says Foden can get even better by dropping a...

Man City: Guardiola says Foden can get even better by dropping a gear

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes Phil Foden still has room for improvement and not always playing in “sixth gear” could help the England star take things up a notch.

Foden has emerged as the favourite to be crowned Premier League Player of the Season, scoring 16 goals and adding seven assists in the competition to help City assume control of the title race.

He was twice on target as City trounced Brighton and Hove Albion 4-0 at the Amex Stadium on Thursday, first with a deflected free-kick and then with a composed finish from the edge of the area.

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With 23 goals in all competitions, this is the most prolific campaign of Foden’s career to date, but Guardiola says he still has further strides to make.

Interestingly, the City boss believes knowing when to slow things down, rather than always looking to force the issue, could make Foden even more productive.

“I said it many times, Phil has a sixth gear, but he cannot play all the time in sixth gear,” Guardiola said ahead of Sunday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.

“Sometimes with second and third it’s fine and I think with time, he will learn that. Against Brighton he was much better than in the two or three games before. Everything was one action too quick.

“Sometimes you have to go slower to make quicker actions in order to surprise the opponent, and at Brighton he was really good and the movements happened at the right moment.

“He attacked when he needed to attack, but it’s a question of time, he will understand the game through years and experiences. His work ethic is unbelievable.

“How he runs and presses, we are really pleased and happy for him and congratulate him. Hopefully he goes into the last month we have ahead of us and he doesn’t stop.”

Asked to expand on the “sixth gear” analogy, Guardiola said: “I would love to go in sixth gear for every single action, but you are less precise.

“If you are in sixth gear and lose the ball all the time that is not effective. Sometimes you have to reduce the moment and he has to know when he has to be aggressive and when he has to be more calm.

“This is a question of time. He improved a lot in those terms from the beginning of the season and the previous seasons.”

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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