Pep Guardiola remains confident goals will come from Jack Grealish

The champions’ £100million British record signing has scored just two goals since his summer move from Aston Villa.
Jack Grealish has been defended by Pep Guardiola following criticism of his form (Martin Rickett/PA)

Jack Grealish has been defended by Pep Guardiola following criticism of his form (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Andy Hampson, PA

Pep Guardiola is confident the goals will soon start to flow for Jack Grealish at Manchester City.

The champions’ £100million British record signing has scored just two goals since his summer move from Aston Villa.

The 26-year-old’s frustration was compounded as he missed a gilt-edged chance in Saturday’s hard-fought Premier League win over Wolves but Guardiola has no doubt he will deliver.

The City manager said: “He has to do exactly what he is doing, no more than that. The rest will come.

“ He has chances to score two or three goals every game and it one day he is going to do it. He could have had a hat-trick against Watford and in the last game one or two goals again.

“The way he is playing is good but when you play a fantastic team like Wolves, who are incredibly well organised defensively, it is a good compliment for them that the fact to break their structure is so complicated. It was difficult for all the players, not just Jack.

“Never in my career did I find one season when every player stays, from the beginning to the end, in top form. There are highs and lows.

“But he doesn’t have to score. What he has to do is play like he knows what to do, feel that his contribution is helping to win games and the rest will come.”

Guardiola (right) has confidence in his £100million man (Nick Potts/PA)

Guardiola (right) has confidence in his £100million man (Nick Potts/PA)

City are back in action as they host Leeds on Tuesday night. Marcelo Bielsa’s side took four points off City last season and Guardiola expects another difficult night.

He said: “Leeds are one of our toughest opponents. They play in a special unique way and we play against this special unique way just two times a year.

“We have to adjust a few things because it is different to other opponents. We are not much used to these type of games.

“There is no single game that they don’t create more chances than the opponents. This is the type of game where we know we will have to suffer. We have to try to adapt and impose what we want to do.”

Guardiola has urged players to get their booster jabs (Martin Rickett/PA)

Guardiola has urged players to get their booster jabs (Martin Rickett/PA)

Guardiola, meanwhile, has urged his players and staff to make sure they get their coronavirus vaccination booster as soon as they become eligible.

Covid-19 restrictions have been tightened in England in the past week in response to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

Asked if staff needed to get boosted, Guardiola said at a press conference: “Absolutely. The doctors suggest that they have to do it.

“Most of us have (had) it already. The players, for their age, the moment they have to do it, everybody is going to decide and they are going to do it.”

Tottenham have had two fixtures called off following a Covid-19 outbreak at the club while Leicester, Norwich and Manchester United have also reported positive cases.

Of course I’m concerned, society is still suffering and cases rise day by day.

Pep Guardiola

Guardiola, who lost his mother to the virus last year, said: “I’m concerned – not because we are going to cancel or break the league but because in society the virus is here and people suffer.

“Some people, staff here, have got it right now and we’ve spoken with the players almost every day and told them to be careful – stay safe, stay healthy, (wear) masks, social distance.

“Now at Christmas time there is a tendency to organise parties, to go out, do something extra. That is normal but unfortunately the virus is still here.

“Of course I’m concerned, society is still suffering and cases rise day by day. So just be careful.”


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