New Manchester City player Erling Haaland stressed the importance that his new coach Pep Guardiola places on any training session and underlined the Catalan’s demands as one of the keys to signing for the reigning English champions, a club where he did not deny feeling the pressure.
“I think I’m ready,” Haaland said when asked about his Premiership debut against West Ham on Sunday.
“I will develop very well in this team, that’s why I’m here and I think I can improve in everything,” he told The Athletic.
“I miss chances with my left foot all the time, I did it last weekend.
“If we talk about finishing, I have to improve my left foot, my right foot, my headers. There are so many things.
“That’s the good thing about football, you can always improve no matter how old you are, you can bring out your full potential.
“Maybe I can bring out my full potential in 10 years.
“I’m still young. I’m still going to develop and I have to develop in the right way.
“As a striker, I think it’s very important that when you’re in the game you don’t think too much.
“If I’m going into my next game thinking about the chance I missed last game, it’s not good.
“You have to go into the game hungry. It doesn’t matter what happened before, if you scored three goals, if you scored zero goals, if you haven’t scored in a while.
“You have to go in with the same mentality, and then I think about not thinking too much.
“It’s about using all that as motivation and not as something negative.
“Do you want to be the best in training today? This is also something that helps me a lot, this meditation off the pitch to just put negative thoughts aside.”
Moreover, Haaland believes that such a mindset gives him an edge.
“Yes, I think today you have to be mentally strong with so many other things off the field,” he analysed.
“You have to have an extremely good focus, you have to be strong in your head because it’s not easy to be a footballer. Everybody thinks it’s easy.”
Haaland also added that he had no doubts about working under new coach Pep Guardiola.
“He is demanding in his messages about what to do and about doing everything 100 per cent,” he insisted.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a normal kind of running exercise, do it 100 per cent, like you do on the pitch. Train while you play. It’s as easy as that.”
This move is also a step up for the Norwegian, moving from Borussia Dortmund to a side who are favourites in many competitions.
“Pressure at City? Yes, of course there is pressure,” Haaland recognised.
“I’m playing for the champions, the ones who won the Premier League, so there is pressure, but in my head, it’s about trying to go out on the pitch smiling as much as I can and trying to enjoy the game.”