Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden said the lack of fans “affects the game a lot” as players adjust to empty stadiums as a result of strict coronavirus measures.
Pep Guardiola’s side returned to action on Wednesday, with substitute Foden scoring the third goal in a 3-0 win against 10-man Arsenal.
But the 20-year-old said the absence of supporters was noticeable at the Etihad.
“It affects the game a lot,” he told City TV. “When you’re down and the team are on the attack, you need your fans behind you to boost you again.
“It has to come from ourselves and people on the touchline, and captains and leaders talking us through the game.
“It’s going to be difficult without our fans in the next couple of games but I know we’re capable of winning and we’ve all got voices, so we need to use them.”
Foden, who has only made three Premier League starts this season, is ready to seize his opportunity as Pep Guardiola rotates his squad to cope with a demanding set of fixtures over the next six weeks.
“The boss said everyone needs to be ready because not everyone can play every game now, full 90 minutes,” he said.
“Everyone needs to be ready. He’s going to rotate a lot so everyone just needs to take their chance. I’ll be ready for whenever I play and try and do my best.”
The only negative on City’s return to action after three months in limbo was a serious-looking injury sustained by Eric Garcia.
The 19-year-old defender was taken to hospital after receiving lengthy treatment following a heavy collision with goalkeeper Ederson.
City said on Thursday that he had been discharged and would be monitored in the coming days.
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