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Man City’s Guardiola says he does not ‘waste time’ thinking about refs

Man City’s Guardiola says he does not ‘waste time’ thinking about refs

LONDON: Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he does not “spend one second” thinking about referees as he prepares to face Nottingham Forest following the relegation-threatened club’s stinging criticism of match officials.

Forest were furious not to be awarded three penalties during last weekend’s 2-0 Premier League loss at Everton and made headlines by releasing a series of strong statements about the incidents.

But Guardiola, who takes his title-chasing side to the City Ground on Sunday, feels that being preoccupied with refereeing appointments is a waste of his time.

“I go to the game and I never ever know who is the referee,” he said. “When I see their face, it’s ‘oh, I remember that face’. I never in my life talk about the referees before, during or after – never ever, ever.

“A mistake can be a mistake and we are sad, and when it’s in our favour we are lucky.

“But I don’t waste my time. I have to economise, I have to choose with my time exactly what I have to do. I don’t spend one second (thinking) about referees, especially when we lose.”

Phil Foden inspired City’s comfortable 4-0 win at Brighton on Thursday with two goals between finishes from Kevin De Bruyne and Julian Alvarez.

The win lifted City to second in the table, one point behind leaders Arsenal with a game in hand.

Guardiola hopes the 23-year-old Foden, who has 24 goals for the season in all competitions, can sustain his dazzling form during the title run-in.

“Phil has a sixth gear but he cannot play all the time in sixth gear – he has to play in second and third,” said Guardiola. “I think, with time, he will learn that.

“Everything is so quick. Football has to be sometimes slower (in order) to become quicker after to surprise the opponent.

“He will understand the game through years and years and experiences. But he loves to play and his work ethic is unbelievable.”

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