IIkay Gundogan reveals why he is 'grateful' to Raheem Sterling and Pep Guardiola
IIkay Gundogan returned to the Manchester City squadron Wednesday night and scored his first goal since January against Porto in the Champions League. His goal for Pep Guardiola’s side had an evident impact on his teammates, who quickly resorted to their usual dominance on the pitch.
Following the match, Gundogan spoke with BT Sport and said that he doesn’t practice free-kicks, but he was comfortable with the distance during Wednesday's game. He further went on to thank Raheem Sterling for letting him take the free-kick, and even joked about the Manchester City boss not subbing him off right before he scored from the set-piece.
"I have to admit I don't practice [free-kicks] a lot, but there are certain distances I feel comfortable with a free-kick.
That was the perfect distance for me. I had a little discussion with Raheem, and I was quite confident to take it. Thanks to him for allowing me to take it. Obviously, I'm very happy I could score."
"I'm glad he didn't [take me off]. I was quite sure he was going to take me off but saw there was an opportunity for me, so thankfully he didn't sub me. It had a lot to be honest. We struggled in different periods of the game.
Obviously, we concede the first goal, so it was even more difficult to come back. In periods we played quite well, and in periods we can still improve. So, at the end the most important thing is we have the three points and started well in the competition.”
The 29-year-old German International went on to discuss how the squad is struggling, but assured fans that every Manchester City player is working hard towards reaching their 100% fitness and level so that they can return to action soon.
“I think we are struggling at this moment a little bit. Fernandinho went off in the last minute. We have a few injured players. We have players in different conditions. Even me, I'm not 100 per cent yet because I was out with Covid for a couple of weeks. We are all in different moments. It's the challenge this season, and it's not going to end for a while.”
“We will take every game; we have enough players of the quality to play. It's not going to be difficult for Pep to choose the XI because some players will be tired, they can't play every game, others need to play. Obviously, we are glad that we have a big squad, but not everyone is yet there, and not everyone is at 100 per cent”, he concluded.
Manchester City return to action on Saturday afternoon as they travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham in the Premier League in the early 12:30PM [UK] kick-off.
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