Manchester City forward Phil Foden receives a rallying point from Pep Guardiola.
Pep Guardiola, manager of Manchester City, has sent a rallying cry to Phil Foden after the Englishman returned to the starting lineup for Saturday’s disappointing stalemate against Nottingham Forest.
City, who had climbed to the top of the Premier League table with a win against Arsenal in midweek, lost crucial ground in the title chase on Saturday afternoon at the City Ground.
Pep Guardiola’s team took the lead thanks to Bernardo Silva’s stunning strike, but after a string of squandered opportunities, they succumbed in the 84th minute to settle for another disappointing 1-1 draw.
Despite having 23 efforts, the Blues failed to convert a slew of second-half chances, with Aymeric Laporte, Phil Foden, and Erling Haaland all missing excellent chances against a tenacious Forest team.
The result puts the Blues two points behind the Gunners, despite having played one more game than the North London club, with Manchester United just three points behind City in third place.
Phil Foden made his first start since the Manchester Derby on Saturday, replacing Riyad Mahrez for his 19th appearance of the season.
The England international made a strong comeback, but he squandered a golden opportunity to double City’s lead early in the second half.
Guardiola remarked of the 22-year-olds’ return to the team after the game, “Absolutely. He performed admirably. He was aggressive against (Renan) Lodi in the first half, arriving frequently at the byline.”
“Yet he doesn’t have this ‘pausa calmness’ that he had, because it’s normal as maybe he didn’t play much anymore.
“He’s going to take it back, he was so aggressive, he played really, really good. Really, really good.”
Foden, who has battled injury and illness in recent weeks, has only started five games for City since the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
When asked if the childhood Blue was frustrated by his lack of playing time, Guardiola answered, “I didn’t question him. I’m not sure. He must compete with Riyad (Mahrez), who is in excellent form, 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.”
Manchester City will resume their UEFA Champions League campaign against RB Leipzig in Germany on Wednesday.
The Champions will then attempt to get back on track in the Premier League against Bournemouth on Saturday evening.