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Pep Guardiola has warned John Stones that he needs to continue revising his football career. Stones has been linked with a move away from Etihad Stadium. He has also suffered with a string of injuries and the break-up of his relationship with his long-time girlfriend had fallen out of the England reckoning.
Stones has hit back with a revenge, forming a strong partnership with Ruben Dias which has been a key factor in the Blues’ level up in the table. Guardiola is delighted at the England international’s response, but also warned that this is only a start.
He said: “The speculation belongs to that, not to us – we cannot control what people say, how many we’ll sign or will leave. Normally these situations do not happen.”
But he said that Stones deserves the credit for bouncing back so strongly.
“I said many times when a player does well, day by day, and the manager allows them to play, it’s exclusively down to them not the manager,” he said.
But he added, by way of a warning: “It’s a long process for a long season. The consistency must be for a long career, not just two months. He’s done really well but for a long time he was not playing, he has to be consistent in his life. The schedule is so tough and we have to be in the right position for him to avoid injuries and try to play games.
“They know we are here 24 hours all time but it belongs to them. The confidence can come back, training is really good, rest good and the qualities will make the difference. To understand how we will play, his mates, the confidence has to come from the player himself.”