Pep has no concerns about 'scoring machine' Haaland
Pep Guardiola has no doubt “goal machine” Erling Haaland is ready to fire in Manchester City’s two upcoming finals.
The prolific Norwegian’s output has slowed in recent weeks with just one goal in his last six games.
For someone who has plundered 52 in a remarkable season that is a relative drought but that is hardly troubling Guardiola ahead of the FA Cup and Champions League finals.
Premier League champions City face Manchester United at Wembley next weekend before travelling to Istanbul to take on Inter Milan for the European crown seven days later.
City manager Guardiola said: “I’m not going to doubt about the scoring machine, Erling, right now.
“We had the chances. Maybe he’s waiting for the right moment. He will be ready in the right moment to score the goals. He’s ready.
“I’m very pleased he’s achieved all he’s achieved, and the goals and the records.
“Then he goes to Brighton and plays the way he played. He still did damage (without scoring).
“He could say, ‘I’m waiting for the two finals’ but it’s completely the opposite and I like that.”
Guardiola has been impressed by how Haaland has dealt with expectation in his first season in English football.
“I don’t feel he’s felt much pressure,” Guardiola said. “I think he’s handled it really well. He laughs, I think, when people (mention) expectations.
“I remember in the Community Shield, we lost 3-1 and he missed one clear chance – all the memes, all the people talked about that.
“I was close to him and he said, ‘Don’t worry, I will score goals’. He’s this type of guy. He has incredible self-confidence in himself that all he needs is the chance to score the goals.
“It doesn’t matter what happened, he’ll never lose confidence. You define the football players and the athletes in the bad moments. It’s how you react.”
City, who secured the title last weekend, wrap up their Premier League campaign at Brentford on Sunday.
The Bees inflicted City’s only home defeat of the season when they won 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium with an Ivan Toney double in November.
Toney will not be involved this time after the striker was banned for eight months for breaching betting regulations.
Guardiola hopes the player bounces back after he has served his punishment.
Guardiola said: “Everyone has problems. If he made a mistake, you accept it and learn from that and (take) a new opportunity. I’m pretty sure he will be (back) better.”