Sat 25 February 2023 | 9:03

"He is our diamond", Guardiola backs Phil Foden to rediscover best form

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists that he still fully trusts Phil Foden and backed him to find his best form.


scored seven goals in the Premier League before the World Cup break and is City's second-highest scorer in the league, but he has started only three of the past 10 Premier League games for

Man City


Foden, who was an unused substitute against Leipzig in the Champions League last-16 tie, has failed to score and provide an assist since the World Cup.

Ahead of the match against Bournemouth,


was asked how Foden can return to his starting eleven for the rest of the season.

“If you’re saying I don’t trust Phil, forget about it,”

says Guardiola

"I saw other players better than him after the World Cup. He struggled with the ankle after the World Cup a lot,"

said the City manager.

"He made an incredible moment playing with pain but came to me and said, 'Pep, I cannot any more, so I have to rest'. We gave him one week, two weeks off to not play.

"After, Riyad [Mahrez] was in his best moment of the season and Jack [Grealish] took a step forward."

He added:

"Phil is our diamond. It's not about lack of confidence or whatever.”

Guardiola also admitted that Foden’s form has been impacted by the World Cup, but backed him to rediscover his best form in the coming months.

"Phil always since he was 17, 18 or 19 years old, he played five minutes and it was the best five minutes of the team, and this season it was not like that, I think he struggled for the ankle in that position,"

Guardiola said.

"Some players after a World Cup struggle a little bit. Others no, but there are players that struggle a little bit. I think Phil as well, apart from the physical situation, but here comes the best part of the season.

"So always I say to him, the best part is here, you are so young, next season is a new one.

"If you drop a little bit this season compared to the previous one, it's an absolutely normal process

"It's how you handle it, this is the question. He will be back. Against Nottingham he was brilliant, honestly, he was perfect. So [we want him] just to continue."

source: SportMob

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