Man City manager Guardiola sends rallying message to Phil Foden

Phil Foden has started just five games for City since the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has sent a rallying message to Phil Foden. The Englishman returned to the starting side for Saturday’s draw against Nottingham Forest.

City moved to the top of the table after defeating Arsenal in midweek but lost the opportunity to retain the position as they dropped two points at the City Ground.

Pep Guardiola’s side took the lead through Bernardo Silva’s strike, but after a series of missed chances, they fall to another frustrating 1-1 draw.

The result leaves the Blues two points behind the Gunners having played one game more than Arteta’s side, and also means Manchester United sits just three points off of City in third place.

Phil Foden was handed his first start since the Manchester Derby on Saturday afternoon, replacing Riyad Mahrez for just his 19th start of the campaign.

Reflecting on the 22 year-olds return to the team post-match, Guardiola said: “Yes. He played really good. In the first-half he was aggressive against (Renan) Lodi, arrived many times at the by-line.”

“Still he doesn’t have this ‘pausa composure’ that he had, because it’s normal as maybe he didn’t play much now.

“He’s going to take it back, he was so aggressive, he played really, really good. Really, really good.”

Foden has struggled with injury and illness in recent weeks. He has started just five games for City since the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Asked whether the boyhood Blue had become frustrated by his lack of minutes, Guardiola replied: “I didn’t ask him. I don’t know. He has to compete with Riyad (Mahrez) who’s playing really well, and the other players.

“It’s a competition for them. What I have to say is not be frustrated, it’s perform as best as possible. As best as possible. After that, it will be easy.”

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