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'It's about his contribution' - Guardiola backs Grealish amid criticism of Man City star

22:30 BST 16/09/2022
Guardiola Grealish
Pep Guardiola has told Jack Grealish to ignore the critics and says the Manchester City forward is making a big contribution.
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WHAT HAPPENED? The £100 million British record signing has yet to score or create an assist this season, although his campaign has been impacted by an ankle injury. But he cut a frustrated figure in the midweek Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund when he was substituted with City trailing 1-0 before goals from John Stones and Erling Haaland turned the game around.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I want him to make goals and I want him to make assists and he does too. But it's not about that, it's about his contribution without the ball and what he can produce for the other ones and the many, many things that he's able to do," Guardiola said ahead of the clash with Wolves. Asked about outside criticism, the City boss added: "Always I say to them: ‘You know exactly how you played, what we were looking for, what was the plan of the game, if it works or didn’t work’. Now, you play it back, but did they know the plan, if it was wrong or positive - they don't know it, but you know it, so you don't have to listen to what people say, whether you played good or bad. You know, and every one of us knows if you did your best on this specific day."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Much of the criticism has revolved around his goal contribution and the belief that he was braver with the ball at previous club Aston Villa. Grealish has also previously stated that he feels he has more freedom when he plays for England.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR GREALISH? He will hope to be part of Guardiola's side for the trip to Wolves before joining up with England for their Nations League clashes with Italy and England.