Pep Guardiola is delighted with Sergio Aguero’s brilliant start to the season, but insists the Manchester City striker must maintain his hard work.
The Argentina international took his tally to six goals from City’s first three games after scoring twice in the 4-1 victory over Stoke City as they maintained their perfect start to the season.
But Guardiola is not only delighted with Aguero’s goals, he also praised the striker’s industry and movement off the ball.
The Catalan told a news conference: “He knows we are here to help him to play the way to create as many chances as possible and more chances to score goals. But he has to help us.
“It’s not enough to receive the ball from his teammates, he has to help us in the first pressure and run a lot and help us a lot with movement.
“Until now he’s doing it and when that happens you are involved in defensive tasks and the offensive.
“You cannot be brilliant when you disappear when you [don’t] have the ball. It’s impossible. Football is a connection between what you have with the ball and without the ball.
“In the Sunderland game and the last two games he did it and we can’t forget you need more training sessions.”
Guardiola was also delighted with the impact of teenager Kelechi Iheanacho, who came on as an 83rd-minute substitute against Stoke and was heavily involved in Nolito’s two late goals that killed off the Potters’ hopes of salvaging a point.
The Nigerian striker hasn’t started any of City’s three opening games but could be called upon for Wednesday’s Champions League playoff second leg with Steaua Bucharest.
“He is always ready, we will need him. Sergio can’t play all season and Kelechi is going to play,” Guardiola added. “That’s why we saw Sergio was a little bit tired after playing four days ago and the travel.
“[Kelechi] kept the ball and made some very nice assists. We can’t achieve anything with just 11 or 12 players. We need everybody and I hope they realise that.
“Of course I have to decide and there are moments during the season where players are on top, are down and when that happens they will sit down beside me and we will play the players are in better condition.”
Guardiola is set to make changes to his starting lineup for the game with Steaua with his side virtually guaranteed a place in the group stages following their 5-0 victory in Romania.
“We are going to change something,” he added. “I am going to sit with my people and going to see which players need more training than play, which players have more minutes in their legs.
“But also we will not go there to have fun, but to go there to win the game and to be serious and to prepare.
“I know it looks like there is no sense in what I am going to say but it’s ‘almost.’ We are not in the Champions League, we have to respect our opponents and the best way is to do our job, to be serious, to try and win the game and keep going with what we practice.”