Pep Guardiola gushes over Kevin De Bruyne after long-awaited return from injury | Football

Kevin De Bruyne made a welcome return for Manchester City against Huddersfield (Picture: Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola is ‘incredibly happy’ to have Kevin De Bruyne back in his Manchester City side, although says he does not want to put too much pressure on the Belgian to guide the team to glory.

The midfielder made his long-awaited return from a hamstring injury in a 5-0 win over Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup third round on Sunday, coming off the bench in the second half.

The 32-year-old didn’t take long to provide an assist, his first of the campaign, setting up Jeremy Doku for the fifth.

Guardiola was unsurprisingly thrilled to see De Bruyne back in action having been without the influential schemer for months.

‘He played really good minutes, and we thought it was better in the second-half when there was more space because they defended really, really deep and the spaces were so hard to find,’ said Guardiola.

‘But in the second half there were more spaces and we played with good intention, and it was really, really good.

‘Now, as I said in the previous press conferences, Kevin needs to accumulate training sessions, training sessions and more training sessions – even more than games.

‘Now with Newcastle (next weekend) we have another chance, then we have two weeks to have good training sessions here and in Abu Dhabi, so we are ready for the second part of the season.

Manchester City v Huddersfield Town - Emirates FA Cup Third Round

Pep Guardiola is delighted to have the Belgian back in action (Picture: Getty Images)

‘But I am incredibly happy to have him back because Kevin helps you to win games. Kevin, [Erling] Haaland, Phil [Foden]… these guys win games – that’s why they’re so important for us.

I’m pretty sure that in the last game Kevin felt how the people love him and how our people are in love with him, and that mutual respect will be forever.’

Manchester City have not always been at their best this season, sitting third in the Premier League, and Guardiola did not want to pressurise De Bruyne to lead them back to former glories.

‘Kevin is not going to solve the problems that we have, and we are not going to have victories unless we are all together,’ he said.

Manchester City v Huddersfield Town - Emirates FA Cup Third Round

De Bruyne’s teammates will also be thrilled to have him back (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Kevin will help us with his talent and can help us in the things we are getting better at – he can handle the pressure, we know that, but I don’t want to put pressure on Kevin’s shoulders because it’s not fair on him.

‘He has a special quality that is difficult to find, and we have known each other a long time – we have players like Erling, Phil, Bobb, Doku and Matheus who love to run in behind and have players find them with passes and Kevin is exceptional at this.

‘That’s why first we are pleased he is back after three or four months out with injury and is fresh in his mind and played really good minutes as he showed with the quality of the assist for the fifth goal, so yeah, it’s really good to have him back.’

Phil Foden scored twice, with Julian Alvarez, a Ben Jackson own goal and Doku completing the comfortable win over the Championship side for Guardiola’s men.


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