Manchester City manager Josep Guardiola praised Phil Foden for his ‘aggressive’ performance in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest, his first start in a month.
Foden was sent to the bench in City’s last four league games, coming on as a substitute in three of them, but was cheered from the start against Forest.
The 22-year-old English midfielder impressed Guardiola by staying out of the field since City’s loss in the Manchester derby to United on 14 January.
“He played very well,” Guardiola said. “In the first half he was so aggressive against [Renan] Lodi and he visited the author many times.
“However, he didn’t have the poise or composure that he had because that’s normal because he didn’t play much.
“Everything was so aggressive today and he played very well.”
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The Spaniard assured that Foden, along with other players who have been rotated lately, will get their chances.
“He has to compete with everyone else,” Guardiola said. “He trained very well with other players. competition for them.
“What should I say, don’t get discouraged, do your best work. And after that it will be easy.”
Saturday’s tie came despite City landing 23 shots compared to Forest’s four, with six on target.
Guardiola felt his side didn’t get what they “deserved” but lamented their inability to capitalize on the chances they created, citing their 3-1 midweek win over Arsenal, who regained top spot after win over Aston Villa 4-2.
“When I see the expected goals after the game and how we played, what chances we miss or create, I am always there, we are at the top,” he said.
Arsenal played very well, but in general they converted one or two chances. We try to play in such a way that we create more chances, don’t concede goals and be as stable as a team. In general, we were there most of the games.
“I don’t think we got what we deserved, but football is not about getting what you deserve. After all, you have to score goals.”