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Pep Guardiola wants ‘incredible’ Phil Foden to add patience to armoury

Burnley v Manchester City – Premier League – Turf Moor
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Pep Guardiola understands Phil Foden’s rush to “win the world” but has urged the youngster to slow down.

Despite having a growing influence on the Manchester City side, dynamic midfielder Foden has not started consecutive games since October.

The 20-year-old has consistently impressed when involved and his latest appearance saw him score and set up another goal in Tuesday’s 4-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat of Arsenal.

Foden scored and created another goal as City beat Arsenal in the Carabao Cup in midweek

Foden scored and created another goal as City beat Arsenal in the Carabao Cup in midweek (Nick Potts/PA)

Yet even though this was expected to be the season when Foden stepped up to become a regular following the departure of David Silva, manager Guardiola still feels his game has room for improvement.

The City boss said: “He has incredible energy for a guy of 19, 20 years old but (in) still the final decision, the final pass, he has to slow down a little bit.

“He wants to win the world, he wants to eat the world and he wants to be important. That’s normal, but he needs experience to be more calm.

“He plays football in the same rhythm and football must be played in different rhythms. Sometimes you have to walk, sometimes you have to have rhythm, sometimes you have to change the rhythm.

Guardiola expects Foden to improve with experience

Guardiola expects Foden to improve with experience (Tim Keeton/PA)

“He has to understand this but that (comes with) experience, not advice.

“It’s not easy for a young player like him in this club, playing important games, and with the national team, but it’s a normal process for all young players.

“In the final third, especially in the box, the top players they have patience, they have this second or half-second of time to take a decision. We have to improve on this and we will work on that.”

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach Guardiola has no doubt Foden will reach the expected levels because he has the talent and the right attitude.

Guardiola said: “He is one of the more incredible players I have seen at that age.

“In the Barcelona academy I trained players of that age who were incredible and they made long careers. They had the mentality Phil has and this is the most important thing.

“He has everything to play with us, we are in love with this guy. He has everything to become something unique and special.

“The weird (thing) would be being 18, 19 years old and not having something to improve. I want the best for him. I work with him and if he has the desire to improve he will get it, for sure.”

Guardiola's side host Steve Bruce's Newcastle on Boxing Day

Guardiola’s side host Steve Bruce’s Newcastle on Boxing Day (Shaun Botterill/NMC Pool)

City return to action as they host Newcastle on Boxing Day.

Guardiola feels it is important for his side’s title chances to win and start generating momentum. City are unbeaten in their last five games but, with two draws in that sequence, they are still eight points behind leaders Liverpool, although they do have a game in hand.

Guardiola said: “We were ninth in the table last weekend, now we are eighth. We are still far away from the top of the league, even though we have (played) one less game.

“We know what we have to do. If you want to be up there you have to start to win games and win games, even if there are many games still to be played for everyone.”

City have a quick turnaround with a trip to Everton on Monday but Guardiola insists his team “are going to adapt, like every season, like all the teams”.