Mens Team

Rodrigo: City’s start no reason to panic

Rodrigo: City’s start no reason to panic
Rodrigo has called for patience as Manchester City bid to climb the Premier League table.

Pep Guardiola’s side go into Saturday’s game against Burnley in 14th place, eight points adrift of leaders Tottenham Hotspur, but with a game in hand on most of the teams above us.

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City have won three of our opening eight matches and whilst Rodrigo is well aware our form needs to improve, he says that with so much of the season still to be played, it is important to remain calm about the task in hand.

“It hasn't been an easy start of the season for us,” he said. “We have had lots of injuries and we missed some important players.

“I think the team is getting in better condition now we have the whole squad available.

"It's true that we haven't been at our best level in some games, but we are focused and ready for what's coming.

“We need to be patient. We know it's still the beginning of the championship.

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“We need to remain calm. We know how the league is right now, it can change a lot from one week to another.  We need to focus on our job and forget about what other teams are doing.

“Of course, we need to start winning games, try to go game by game, have good performances and if we do that, the wins will arrive.”

So often free-scoring, goals have been in short supply for City so far this season, though Guardiola has been encouraged by what he has seen from his team in the final third in recent weeks.

Rodrigo acknowledges it is as an area we must improve, but is confident our fortunes in front of goal will change.

“I think most of the games, we have the ball possession and we create many chances, but we aren't scoring them,” he added.

“We haven't been clinical enough. We need to work on that, because the only way to win games is by scoring goals.

"We are working on that and I'm sure the goals will come.”

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A summer 2019 acquisition, Rodrigo’s 66 appearances are a sign of how quickly he has established himself in Manchester.

The deep-lying midfield position is integral in Guardiola’s system and the Spaniard is tasked with both stopping and starting attacks.

Having never previously played outside of his native Spain, the 24-year-old admits he has had to adapt to the demands of the Premier League and his manager, but says he enjoys the responsibility of playing in one of the most important positions on the pitch.

“Obviously, you need a short period to settle into the team and the Premier League, what the manager wants," he said.

“But what I feel now is that I understand exactly what the coach wants from me and what the league requires.

“For me, it's a big responsibility, but it makes me really happy to have that responsibility.

“I'm growing a lot here, not only as a football player but also as a human inside the squad. Lead the team, communicate with my teammates, it's a very important position in the game.

“I try to listen to what my manager and my teammates say to me and try to improve as a player every day.”

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