Pep Guardiola says Phil Foden’s ‘third kid’ can help him reach full potential

<span>Phil Foden is in the best scoring form of his career for Manchester City.</span><span>Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Phil Foden is in the best scoring form of his career for Manchester City.Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola has said the the third child Phil Foden and his partner are expecting may help the Manchester City playmaker reach his full potential.

Foden was the champions’ standout performer in Thursday’s 4-0 victory at Brighton, scoring twice to reach 24 goals in all competitions, a career high. Yet Guardiola, asked about Foden’s form, said the 23-year-old still needed to be calmer during certain moments in games.

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“I would love him to go in sixth gear in every single action but afterwards you are less precise, you lose the ball all the time and that is not effective,” Guardiola said. “You have to reduce the time so you know the moments when you have to be more aggressive and calm.

“But it’s a question of time. He can improve a lot and has improved a lot from the beginning of the season and from the previous seasons.” Guardiola then said with a smile: “Maybe with the third kid that is coming for his family, that will help him.”

Foden will be a candidate to win player of the year awards. “He is one of them,” Guardiola said. “But I have a feeling what he wants is [to win] the Premier League.”

City’s victory at Brighton took them above Liverpool into second place, one point behind Arsenal, having played a game fewer. They travel to Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

After Forest’s 2-0 loss at Everton, the club issued a statement which questioned the integrity of Stuart Attwell, the video assistant referee, after he did not make referrals to the on-pitch referee, Anthony Taylor, over three incidents that the Nottingham club believed should have been penalties. Forest employ the former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg as an adviser and Guardiola was asked whether he would ever want a similar consultant.

“I go to the game and I never, ever know who is the referee,” he said. “The first time I know is when I see their face and I go: ‘Oh, I remember that face.’

“Never in my life do I talk about referees before, during or after games. Never, ever, ever. If there’s a mistake then there’s a mistake and we are sad. When it’s in our favour then we are lucky. I don’t waste my time. My time is minimal. I have to choose my time, and I don’t spend one second thinking about the referee.”