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Riyad Mahrez has been one of the major positives for Manchester City so far this season

‘The only thing he has to improve is to be more relaxed’: Pep Guardiola insists Riyad Mahrez must not overreact when he is dropped

  • Riyad Mahrez has been a major positive for Manchester City so far this season
  • He opened his account for the season against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday
  • Last year’s £60million club-record signing already has three assists so far
  • Sportsmail revealed that the Algeria international had been openly griping
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Pep Guardiola backed Riyad Mahrez to fill the void left by Leroy Sane – but wants the winger to act calmer when not picked.

Mahrez has been one of the major positives for Manchester City so far this season and opened his account for the campaign against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday. Last year’s £60million club-record signing already has three assists in all competitions.

Sportsmail revealed that the Algeria international had been openly griping at a lack of minutes in April and Guardiola wants him to curb any discontent behind the scenes.

Riyad Mahrez has been one of the major positives for Manchester City so far this season

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 Riyad Mahrez has been one of the major positives for Manchester City so far this season

‘He loves to play football – he loves to be in contact with the ball,’ Guardiola said. ‘Take the ball and have fun with the ball. Maybe it’s a stupid detail but I like it.

‘He’s quality. Perhaps the only thing he has to improve is to be more relaxed when he doesn’t play. Only that. The rest is top.

‘When he played last season he played good, except the first few games maybe but it’s normal.

‘There is no doubt we need the quality and especially the mentality. Especially how competitive he is surprised me a lot.’

Guardiola is also buoyed by the application of Gabriel Jesus, who is playing second fiddle to Sergio Aguero. Jesus is ‘the future’ of City, according to his manager.

‘There are a few players who don’t play that much but I want them to. Maybe he’ll be involved tomorrow (against Watford),’ the City boss added.

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‘It’s difficult to find a striker like Gabriel. How important he is. His behaviour in training sessions is outstanding and he has to fight a legend, one of the best I’ve seen, in Aguero.

‘When Sergio doesn’t play the substitute is the top level. Sergio has scored and assisted in every single game. The future for this club is incredible.’

Pep Guardiola backed Mahrez to fill the void left by Leroy Sane (pictured) who is out injured

Pep Guardiola backed Mahrez to fill the void left by Leroy Sane (pictured) who is out injured

Pep Guardiola backed Mahrez to fill the void left by Leroy Sane (pictured) who is out injured