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Manchester City's 'brilliant' Foden faces fight for regular spot - Guardiola

Pep Guardiola hailed "brilliant" Phil Foden for his starring role in the 4-1 FA Cup victory over Newport County but warned he faces a fight to become a Manchester City regular.

The 18-year-old scored twice as City overcame a difficult pitch to knock out the League Two side to reach the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.

"The only problem I have with Phil is one, he has to compete with Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva and Bernardo Silva," Guardiola told a news conference.

"He's a player who is ready, he's ready to play. Today was a good test for him, it's not the fact he cannot run because he runs incredible but it's the second balls and the long balls, it's a good test for him and he learnt a lot, I'm sure.

"He helped us to win the game with two incredible goals. This is a guy who is close to the box and has this mentality and ability to score goals, in the training sessions he always scores goals. He was brilliant."

City survived a tricky first half against a side that had already beaten Leicester City and Middlesbrough and almost took the lead through a Tyreeq Bakinson header that was superbly saved by Ederson.

But the win keeps City's hopes of a quadruple on track with a Champions League trip to Schalke and Carabao Cup final against Chelsea (live on ESPN+ Feb. 24 at 11:30 a.m. ET) up next for Guardiola's side.

"Everything is going well at the moment and we can definitely win every competition but it is going to be difficult," Foden said after the match. "I'm trying to take my opportunities as they come.

"We had to show professionalism and keep the ball moving and they tired in the end. We scored straight away after they scored. It was the worst conditions I have played in.

"Our defenders dealt with every ball well today and we showed our quality on a difficult pitch.

"We scored straight after they did and it is always good to take the pressure off and get the goal."

Phil Foden, hand raised, had two goals in Man City's FA Cup win against Newport.

Foden played alongside David Silva in midfield and the Spaniard also earned praised for the way he played on the difficult Rodney Parade pitch.

"[He was] incredible," Guardiola said."At 33-years-old, fight, win duels. Really, really good.

"David is a fantastic player. He played here at a League Two club like an 18-year-old, like Phil Foden."

And Guardiola said his squad have to embrace the challenge of fighting in four competitions.

"Today we spoke about that. We are in all four and we accept every challenge," he said. "Today we play League Two and then we go to Champions League. We have to adapt, change mentality, change the way we play.

"We now need to make a big performance in Champions League. We prepare well, game by game, and we will see what is our end point.

"What we have done this season and last is go game by game and try to win. The way we play Chelsea home is different to here. Now we go to biggest stage, Champions League, and we will see in May and June.

"But it's important in February to be here, in four competitions. We're delighted, thank you, congratulations to the players, now we prepare for our trip to Germany."


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