Men's Team

Guardiola: More to come from Rodri

Guardiola: More to come from Rodri
Pep Guardiola believes that there is even more to come from City holding midfielder Rodrigo.

The Spanish international has been a key part of the squad since his arrival from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2019 and played his part in last season’s Premier League and Carabao Cup title triumphs.

If anything, Rodri has been in even more impressive form in the first two months of this season, delivering a superb display and match saving tackle in our 2-2 draw at Liverpool earlier this month.

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And speaking ahead of Tuesday’s return to Champions League action away at Club Brugge, Guardiola expressed his satisfaction at the 25-year-old’s progress – and backed Rodrigo to continue to improve.

"The season is so long, 11 months so there are high and lows," said the City boss.

"What is important to be a holding midfield is to be always stable: 7, 8, 7, 8. It's not nice to have a big 10 performance and then a 2 or 3. Maybe wingers or strikers can do it but for a holding midfielder it’s not good.

"I think now he’s so stable, he’s always paying attention and he's realising what we are looking for because sometimes you need time to understand what we are looking for.

"We are more than satisfied. We knew it when we went to him at Atletico, he's growing and hopefully he can be a better player.

“It depends on him and if he opens his mind and understands what he has to do, because he still has the margin to be a better player and, hopefully, we can help him."

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City will step out against the Belgian champions seeking to bounce back in Europe after our 2-0 reverse at Paris Saint-Germain last time out.

However, Guardiola warned that the clash at the Jan Breydelstadion – which kicks off at 17.45 UK time – would be another big test with Brugge sharing top spot in Group A with PSG on four points from two games with City a point behind in third.

And he said the next two games, with City playing the return leg at home to Brugge in a fortnight, would be pivotal.

“It’s the most important team in Belgium now,” Guardiola pointed out.

“Belgium, for the last ten 15 years, creates top talent. You see the national team, the physicality, courage and talent.

“The holding midfielders, central defenders are aggressive. They play direct and have quality in the final third.

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“We knew it before the draw. When we got the draw, I said: ‘Wow. They are tough’, and they got a good result against Leipzig.

“The next two games are so important for us and them as well of course.”

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