Guardiola urges Haaland to relax in hunt for goals
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has urged Erling Haaland to remain patient and allow the goals to come ahead of their Champions League clash with FC Copenhagen.
The 23-year-old scored a brace against Everton last time out — his first time on the scoresheet since returning from a foot injury having blanked against Burnley and Brentford.
But Guardiola called for Haaland to be more positive and not get caught up in the hunt for goals.
He said: "Erling is young, playing in the most difficult position on the pitch surrounded by four or five players with minor space.
"In the first half maybe we didn't have the special delivery players, like Kevin [De Bruyne] for example, who can find him.
"In that moment he has to be positive. When he scored a goal, he reacted but he doesn't need to score because he helps us with many things.
"He is defined by goals but it is not just scoring a goal. It's how he is clapping, encouraging his mates and the first intense press. This is what we need from Erling."
Haaland has bagged 40 goals in 35 Champions League games with 17 of those strikes coming in a City shirt.
Still, Guardiola was sure to remind the Norway international that he will need time to adjust given his absence from first-team football.
He said: "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."