Guardiola oultines City plan for Yaya after seasonal debut

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insisted Yaya Toure remains an important part of his squad after the midfielder’s 300th game for the club.

The Ivory Coast international made his first appearance of the season in Wednesday’s 2-1 Carabao Cup third-round win at West Brom.

He has struggled for game time since Guardiola joined City last summer, failing to make a top-flight appearance under the manager until November last year.

But Guardiola said the 34-year-old Toure is in his plans at the Etihad as they fight for every trophy.

“We need him and of course it’s not easy for the players who didn’t play in the last games,” he said.

“But he showed his personality because it’s not easy for him to play in these type of games but he did it well and that’s why we’re happy for him to come back.

“And we are going to use him. Everybody is going to play. We have a lot of games. Three days later we have a game, then three days later after Stamford Bridge we have the Champions League.

In 2011 Toure scored the winner in City’s 1-0 FA Cup final victory over Stoke to end the club’s 35-year wait for silverware and has won the league in 2012 and 2014.

But it was Leroy Sane who grabbed the headlines against West Brom after his two goals sent City through and booked a fourth round home tie with Wolves.

Guardiola also eased any injury worries over Ilkay Gundogan – making his first start since December following a knee injury – after the midfielder limped off with a knee problem following a heavy tackle from Claudio Yacob.

Midfielder Yacob scored Albion’s equaliser – his first goal in four years – and boss Tony Pulis was frustrated not to have won.

“The big disappointment in the first half was that we kept giving the ball away. We worked really hard to get it and then we’d just give it straight back,” he said.

“At half-time we had a really good chat about it. We had to keep the ball better and we did that in the second half.

“We gave them a game in the second half, a really good game – and I’m disappointed that I’m stood here not having won the game, never mind drawn it.”