Promising Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden has praised the way Pep Guardiola has introduced him into playing in high-profile matches.
Foden featured in 37 games in 2019/20, scoring eight goals and registering nine assists. A League Cup final, an FA Cup semi-final and a Champions League last 16 tie were among those appearances, with the youngster given a chance to impress in season-defining fixtures.
And as he prepares to potentially make his England debut against Iceland on Saturday, Foden says those experiences have prepared him for another big moment in his career.
“I’ve played in some massive games this year, like cup finals and big Champions League games,” he said.
“They’re the games that everyone wants to play in. Sometimes it’s difficult for a young player to play in them games.
But I think he [Guardiola] has been patient with me and played me at the right times. Now I’m learning a lot and I just feel ready to go.”
Pep a fan of Foden’s work ethic
Guardiola clearly saw Foden’s potential at an early stage, giving him his first team debut aged just 17. That came against Feyenoord in the Champions League in November 2017.
Since then, Foden has played 74 games and been a part of two Premier League-winning squads. His overall game has also progressed, with the Stockport-born starlet even tipped to be the one to fill David Silva’s shoes.
And although he isn’t told about Pep’s plans to further his development, Foden believes his hard work in training is what earns him regular opportunities.
“He doesn’t really speak about that too much, he speaks with his coaching staff about that.
“He just wants to see a good attitude every day and wants to see you training well. I go to training every day and give 100%, and that’s where you can’t go wrong really. You give your all every training session and come off that field knowing you’ve given everything to get in the team.
“That’s what I try and do, and if I don’t get in the team I know I’ve put 100% in and if I do get in the team, I know I’ve earned it.
“That’s how I work and I think that’s what he likes about me.”