‘Have to earn my confidence’ – Pep Guardiola fires a warning to Man City stars CaughtOffside

‘Have to earn my confidence’ – Pep Guardiola fires a warning to Man City stars CaughtOffside


Despite being in pole position to lift another Premier League title with just a handful of games to go, there will almost certainly be some Man City players that still aren’t happy.

Much of their ire is likely to be down to not playing enough games for the champions-elect, and therefore a feeling of detachment would be somewhat understandable.

Not that it appears to worry manager, Pep Guardiola, too much, the Catalan known for his relentless quest for footballing perfection.

One player that could argue that he deserved and deserves more time on the pitch is England international, Kalvin Phillips.

He’s only made eight substitute appearances in the Premier League totalling 103 minutes per WhoScored, however, Guardiola has been upfront about what he expects not just from Phillips but from all of his players.

Phillips could leave City at the end of the season despite only arriving last summer

“Players have to earn my confidence – all of them, not just Kalvin,” he was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

“It depends on the players. At the end we’re here, I try to be honest with the questions and my feelings.

“My feelings sometimes change. But at the end it belongs to the players, they have to convince themselves and the team and not because I say something.

“Teams change a lot and players for previous seasons who were incredibly important but this season less important. It’s how they perform, many things can happen.”

The likelihood of Phillips getting a look in now is minimal, unless City tie up the league title earlier than expected and Guardiola can play a ‘second string’ with one eye hopefully on the Champions League final if they can beat holders, Real Madrid.

“I’m not complaining about Kalvin because when you don’t play much it’s difficult to take the rhythm,” Guardiola continued.

“John [Stones] we’re seven years together, Rodri is [four] years together. I don’t have to tell them anything. Just little details – a movement here or there.

“Kalvin if maybe in the past he’d played more minutes he will get that but Rodri was in exceptional form.

“That role is so, so important, that’s why the lack of minutes makes the circle more difficult. But he always pays attention, in the training sessions he is always open-minded to get it.

“But being behind Arsenal, we cannot drop points. We haven’t had that situation of being eight, 10 points in front – in the past it happened.

“We will see at the end of the season. We’ll sit with the players. Maybe they want more minutes or maybe they are not happy with the situation. But right now I’m not going to discuss anything.”

Given that he is still only 27 years of age and theoretically in his footballing prime, Phillips shouldn’t get too despondent.

As long as City don’t expect too much money for him were they to decide to cash in, he’s likely to have no shortage of takes for his services.

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