Pep Guardiola says patience is the watchword for Kevin De Bruyne when he comes back into the City XI.

De Bruyne has been absent for four months with a hamstring issue that saw him withdrawn in our opening Premier League clash at Burnley.

There was the very welcome news of his return to the matchday squad against Sheffield United this past weekend and the even better sight of him warming up in the second half, a moment that earned roared approval across the Etihad.

Guardiola has previously said he will be looking to re-introduce KDB into action soon but stressed in his pre-FA Cup press conference that he won’t expect the iconic midfielder to hit top form straight away.

In fact, the boss hinted that his time on the pitch may be short and sharp to begin with.


“I think he will be good. Now I don’t ask Kevin to play his level,” the manager said of KDB’s much-anticipated return.

“It’s now to be calm, play good minutes, do the principles he has to do, the rest will come. We cannot force him.

“From my experience, I was a football player, it was quite similar. I was one year with hamstring problems and when you come back, you need time.

“It’s not ‘okay, play, it’s the best Kevin’. He has to be relaxed, enjoy the minutes he’s going to play, try to help us to win the games.

“Kevin in 20 minutes right now may help us more than 90 minutes.

“After this, his body will dictate how many minutes he can get. This is my opinion.”

Watch the manager’s press conference in the video player above.