Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has urged Erling Haaland to relax more and stop focusing on scoring goals even though people are expecting him to be putting the ball in the back of the next every time he plays.
The City manager said the Norwegian needs to be encouraging his teammates even if he failed to score. He claimed that the striker has been preoccupied with adding to his remarkable goal tally but he wants him to relax more.
Speaking in Denmark at a press conference to preview Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 clash with FC Copenhagen, Guardiola said when Haaland “scored a goal, he reacted but he doesn’t need to score because he helps us for many things.
“He is defined by goals but it is not just scoring a goal. As much it’s how he is clapping, encouraging his mates, and the first intense press. This is what we need from Erling.”
Haaland recently returned to the first team after two months of injury and Guardiola believes getting back to his best will not be easy, therefore, he needs to relax more.
“But we cannot forget he has been two months out, which is a lot of time for a guy who is so tall.
“Back to the dynamic is not easy. He’s a huge competitor who wants to score goals. OK, we know that, so relax.
“If we don’t score today, or if he doesn’t score in 10 minutes, it’s OK. In the process, he has to try because the team always wins when they overcome bad moments.”
“If he doesn’t score tomorrow, the day after, or next week, it’s not a big issue,” the City boss added.
“He’s so strong. It comes from nature. He’s coped perfectly because he’s so strong mentally. He scores one goal and wants a second and a third.”