Erling Haaland: Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola takes blame for striker’s scoring blip

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Erling Haaland has failed to score in just seven of his 23 appearances so far this season, although three of those blanks came in his last three games

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has taken the blame for Erling Haaland’s recent mini-goalscoring drought.

Haaland has hit an incredible 27 goals in all competitions since joining from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.

But he has failed to score in his last three outings and Guardiola says the supply to the striker needs to improve.

“We have our game, we have our principles but the way we played in last two games didn’t help Erling to score,” Guardiola said.

“In the build-up you can be wider, but in the final third you have to have players in the middle. If Erling is not there we are not going to score goals.

“In the past we have always had incredible movements in the final third, in the small spaces. Now, in the last two games, we haven’t had it. I would say it was my fault. I didn’t make them understand the way we have to attack.

“We need runners, not just Erling. If we had just Erling he would be controlled by two or three central defenders. We need more players in those positions, definitely. We have done it. We have to do it more often.”

Manchester City are eight points behind leaders Arsenal in the title race and host Tottenham on Thursday (kick-off 20:00 GMT).

City have won the Premier League in four of the past five seasons and Guardiola says he is enjoying the chase so far this term.

“I prefer to be eight points in front but I like to handle this situation, I love it,” he added.

“I have to find something to make the team better. I’m the man responsible. When the players don’t play good, if they don’t have the desire to do it, it is because something is wrong in my decisions. We have to find it.

“People don’t think about the memories, how good we were. When I die people will talk about how good Pep was. That’s for sure.

“But since we are here, people expect us to perform well, win the games and try to find the way. Otherwise – Pep out.

“This is how our jobs work – and I want Pep in! I want to stay here, this is what I want, and for that we have to win games and be there in all the competitions.”

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