Men's Team

Haaland mentality is incredible says Guardiola

Haaland mentality is incredible says Guardiola
Pep Guardiola has praised 34-goal striker Erling Haaland for his attitude and mentality since joining City.

The boss says the Norwegian has a wonderful attitude and never lets missed opportunities affect him – something he hasn’t really come across before.

And that was demonstrated on Saturday as Haaland's second half penalty earned City a precious 1-0 win at Crystal Palace as we reduced the gap on leaders Arsenal to two points for 24 hours at least.

Earlier at Selhurst Park, Haaland saw the ball bounce unkindly as he was about to sweep home in the first half and shot over, but stepped up to convert a crucial late penalty and secure a crucial victory for City and was his usual ice-cool self.

"He has to score five goals every game," joked Guardiola.

"So when he doesn’t score there is pressure – this guy doesn’t have to feel pressure, he’s having an incredible season so far – he missed a couple of chances in the first-half, and I think the penalty was more difficult!

“But he’s always there and he enjoys it and the way he celebrates his goals and his team-mates' goals shows how happy he is here and how happy we are with him.


“He’s a young lad and his personality is that there was no question he was not going to put the ball away( from the spot) – it was great.

“The numbers are there for themselves and to score that many in this league especially –  and we are still March – one of the biggest attributes I have learned from working with him is he never loses his focus.

“He can have one chance, two chances but he doesn’t get sad or depressed – he is always thinking positively – 'I’ll get the next one’ – he knows he will get chances and he will be there and that is a fantastic attribute to have as a football player.

“Normally, when you are in football or basketball and you are thinking about the last action, you cannot be your best, but this guy is thinking ‘ok, how long do we have? I have an hour’ and that is good.

“Of course he feels the pressure – the pressure is nice, and he has to live with it and handle it. But that is good and drives you to be your best.”

Pep admitted it was a hard-fought win, but expected nothing less against a side who always seem to make life difficult for the Blues.

“Football is like that,” the City boss added.

“We played incredibly at Nottingham Forest, and we could have won 5-0 but we drew.

“From my experience at Selhurst Park, coming here is always so hard.

“They are so hard to play against, they are really good.


“I couldn’t expect to win four or five-zero, but we always struggle to score goals here.

“They defend really well with the physicality they have and they have incredibly talented players like Zaha, Eze and Olise – they keep the ball, they have a good connection between each other.

"They attack down the channels and yeah, it was quite similar to last season - but in the end we won the penalty and with the determination from Erling, we won the game and at this stage of the season, it was really important.”