Guardiola explains why he left Leroy Sane out of matchday squad

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insisted he did not have a problem with Leroy Sane’s attitude after he left the winger out of his matchday squad for the 2-1 victory over Newcastle.

While Sane sat things out, Kyle Walker struck a 52nd-minute winner in the Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium after Raheem Sterling’s early opener had been cancelled out by DeAndre Yedlin.

When asked afterwards what his thinking had been regarding Sane, the 2017-18 PFA Young Player of the Year who was omitted from Germany’s World Cup squad, Guardiola said: “Last game Phil Foden was not in the squad and I was so sad for Phil, like I’m so sad for Leroy now.

“But we have a squad. We have six strikers and I decided to play with two strikers. We have two wingers plus another one on the bench, and that’s why we decided this game he would not be there.

“Try to work hard again and in the next games he will be ready to play.”

Guardiola was then asked if he was completely happy with Sane’s attitude, on and off the pitch, and the manager replied: “Yes.”

Last weekend Sane came off the bench in the 77th minute of the 1-1 draw at Wolves. He had also appeared as a substitute in City’s two other league games this term, the 2-0 win at Arsenal and 6-1 victory over Huddersfield.

Regarding the 22-year-old’s performance at Molineux, Guardiola said: “He played 10, 12 minutes, he tried. He was not precise but he tried.

“They know me – they convince me, I am satisfied, the moment they run and they do everything. The mistakes without the ball, taking decisions, it’s part of the process.”

Guardiola also on Saturday said of Sane on BT Sport: “Leroy was so important last season and hopefully this season will be so important.”

While Guardiola had no doubt his side had “defended very, very, very bad” when they conceded, he said he thought his team’s display overall against Newcastle had been “quite good.”

And he said of Walker’s drilled effort from outside the box, his first goal in almost three years: “It was a nice shot.

“He has that quality, with the crosses and shooting, and when he plays in that position (full-back) he can use it more.”

Guardiola also had praise for Sterling, who struck in the eighth minute of what was his 100th league appearance for City.

Guardiola said: “He scored a fantastic goal and fought a lot, and especially in the second half he played so clever.”


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