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Pep Guardiola makes demand of Erling Haaland ahead of Man City opener vs Burnley

Pep Guardiola doesn’t want Erling Haaland to sweat over goals as he feels his way back to form at the start of the campaign.

Manchester City kick-off their Premier League title defence, as well as the season at large, on Friday night as they take on newly promoted Burnley at Turf Moor. Haaland will almost certainly be in the starting XI as he begins his second campaign in England.

A lot of Guardiola’s signings have tended to take at least a year to get to grips with the Blues boss’ complex methods before truly flourishing. Jack Grealish, Bernardo Silva, Rodri and the now departed Riyad Mahrez are all such examples.

But Haaland had none of those struggles in a remarkable debut season which saw him bag a ridiculous 52 goals. Which poses the question of whether he can get even better in his second year?

When the query was posed to Guardiola ahead of the match, he believes the Norwegian can continue to work on the finer details of his game but that he should concentrate on getting back fully match-fit and not worry too much about scoring. “I would say that Erling didn’t need a season, maybe one Community Shield game to realise no more than that,” he said.

“I will advise him don’t put too much pressure on the goals and so on. What I say to Erling is come back at your best because he’s 1m90cm and try your best physio and mentally. If you score fine, if you don’t score fine. Try to improve your details, quality and the skills in spaces like you can be a better player.

“And if the team is going to help you to give you as much help as possible to score the goals, this is what they have to do. I don’t want Erling to score 50 or 60, try to be as happy as you was last season, relax and get to your best after holidays, after Asia. Training better, every game you play demanding yourself to make the effort then the goals, as he knows, will come along naturally. Don’t force it.

“But we have to do, him and everyone, to make the situations happen. We have to do something, create chances, defend well, score goals, don’t concede, be safe at set pieces, we have to do something to make it happen.”

Source: Manchestereveningnews

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