Pep Guardiola has ordered Kevin De Bruyne to get back to his best to boost Manchester City's hopes of landing more silverware.
Belgium superstar De Bruyne has endured one of his most difficult seasons with the English champions. The attacking midfielder has scored just five goals following a dramatic loss of form. And now Guardiola has told him to go back to basics in a bid to become one of the best on the planet again.
Guardiola said: "Kevin has an ability to do it. I spoke many times to him and what I'd like is for him to go to the easy principles and do it well. He has an incredible ability to make an assist, to score goals and see passes like no one else.
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"But I always have belief they will increase and will get better when the simple things, like don't lose the ball, the mobility, the incredible capacity to be active in the movement, the simple things, do it again better and better.
"When this is going to happen the rest will come along. When the simple things are done perfectly, and only he can find, it will be easier, it will be better."
Guardiola, meanwhile, fears being labelled a failure if he doesn't lead City to European glory. Guardiola has won an astonishing 11 trophies since arriving at the Etihad in 2016. But despite his best efforts, the Champions League is the one title to have eluded him.
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The closest City came to conquering Europe was in 2021 when Guardiola's men suffered a heartbreaking defeat to Chelsea in the final.
The pressure for Guardiola to end his hoodoo is growing and will be ramped up again tonight (Tue) when City face a crucial last 16 showdown with RB Leipzig with the scores locked at 1-1.
And despite all his success, the Spaniard admits in the eyes of the public he will always be judged on how well he does in the Champions League.
Guardiola said: "Yes, that doesn't mean I agree with that, but absolutely I will be judged for that competition. Since day one when I arrived here they asked me 'are you here to win the Champions League?' I accept it. It's not going to change."
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