Pep Guardiola press conference: Erling Haaland's World Cup plans; Kyle Walker injury; Southampton

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has no time to bask in a comprehensive Champions League win over Copenhagen in midweek, with his team straight back to action in the Premier League when they host Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Ahead of the game, Guardiola was unsurprisingly asked repeatedly in his pre-match press conference about goalscoring sensation Erling Haaland, but his thoughts on the busy schedule and what they will face from Southampton also came up.

Erling Haaland

Are you in disbelief about Erling Haaland's goalscoring feats?

"It is not about disbelief. It is the fact that he has an incredible instinct. He has an incredible sense as a striker he goes one second before the ball arrives.

"These types of player, how can a manager teach him? It is impossible. He is a natural. He did it Norway, Austria, he smells it. Thank you for choosing us."

Is it possible to improve Erling Haaland?

"The connection with Kevin [De Bruyne], Phil [Foden], Riyad [Mahrez], Jack [Grealish]. Erling when he has the ball he knows what passes I like. He can improve every part of his game. Everyone knows he can do better. We can all improve until we die.

"It will be good for Haaland to break the [Premier League scoring] record but any record can be broken. Hopefully he can carry this on. After the Community Shield people had a lot of doubts but let's just look at tomorrow and he needs to focus on that. Then at the end of the season he can look at the goals."

Are you glad Erling Haaland won't be playing at the World Cup?

"Of course not. It is amazing for a football player to play there it is a shame for the fans who want to see the best players possible. He will have a holiday for a few weeks during the World Cup and then he will be back and training."

Kyle Walker

Will Kyle Walker be fit for the World Cup?

"He is out for a few weeks. Too early to say about World Cup."

Ilkay Gundogan

Was Ilkay Gundogan's wife wrong saying Manchester only has 'horrible' food?

"I am disappointed that they didn't go to my restaurant. Gundo will not play one more game!"

Fixture congestion

How are Man City coping with the schedule?

“I said so far you always worry about how we will react. There is no time to reflect on how we have done because there is a game every three days. Now we have Southampton. We have no time for distractions. There is nothing much we can do, in three days we have to travel again."


What do you expect from Southampton?

“We struggle every season to try to control the game. We are ready tomorrow to do a good game. I expect a brave team, so aggressive. So well organised. They have a culture I like a lot but we have to maintain this momentum and create a good rhythm. It is an important match for us."

Xabi Alonso

What do you think of Xabi Alonso becoming Bayer Leverkusen manager?

"I am pleased for Xabi Alonso. He was an exceptional holding midfielder. He is a lovely person, lovely guy and I am so happy for him. I wish him the best and I hope he does a good job."

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Source : 90min