Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles

The hosts pushed for more goals as the half went on but they were finding it tough to get past Martin Dúbravka, who pulled off some impressive saves.

Newcastle lost 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur in their league opener and their only point this season came in a goalless draw at promoted Cardiff City. "It's impossible after the World Cup mentally for the players to be in the best condition, the best approach".

And as he looked ahead to the resumption of action following the current worldwide break, Guardiola said he was in no doubt his contribution will be equally crucially this time round. "That's what we are looking for, to be better". We need more time, and after the global break, the season starts properly in terms of having games every three days.

Sane, who was a surprise omission from Germany's World Cup squad in the summer, has hardly featured in City's three league games this season.


Meanwhile, Guardiola is confident that City will kick-on and further improve once the squad reassembles after the worldwide hiatus. The mums and dads bring their kids into the schools, they have more order, and we start again.

Guardiola has pledged to omit the Brazilian at times, though he accepts he is hard to replace, explaining: "Fernandinho is a gift".

Goal understands that Sane had been dropped because Guardiola is unhappy with his focus, and that omitting him from the squad will help get him back on track.

But he did not even make the bench for the 2-1 home victory over Newcastle on Saturday.


Raheem Sterling, John Stones and Kyle Walker celebrate a goal.

"In all my life as a player and a coach, every year you have two or three situations in the dressing room during a game or during a training session when something happens between players", he added.

"It's about good ball connection and getting it on target".


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