I need to rediscover the form that earned me £100m Man City transfer… but Erling Haaland can help, says Jack Grealish

    JACK GREALISH vowed to recapture the form which earned him a record £100million move to Manchester City.

    Boss Pep Guardiola defended his England star ahead of the trip to Wolves following two sluggish Champions League showings.

    Jack Grealish is hoping to recapture his form following injury

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    Jack Grealish is hoping to recapture his form following injuryCredit: Getty
    Grealish has enjoyed Erling Haaland's company since his summer arrival

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    Grealish has enjoyed Erling Haaland’s company since his summer arrivalCredit: Getty
    Pep Guardiola has faith Grealish will come good

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    Pep Guardiola has faith Grealish will come goodCredit: Getty

    But Grealish, 27, admits he must start taking his chances, saying: “The attackers are the ones the manager rotates a lot.

    “Not everyone is going to play every game as we have so much talent.

    “When you get that chance you have to grab it with both hands and that is what I will try and do.

    “Last year I was settling in — but I want to start performing the way that got me the move here.

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    “I did at times last season, just maybe not consistently enough.”

    After an unspectacular first season at the Etihad, Grealish impressed on City’s pre-season tour.

    He explained: “I started quite well in pre-season and started the first game of the season which we won at West Ham.

    “Then in the second one I got injured. I have come back and played a few Champions League games.

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    “I felt like I could have done better in both of them but I am still trying to catch up on my fitness.

    “Now I am just trying to get fit and trying to get my form back.”

    Grealish has featured in a variety of positions at City. Asked about his best role, he said: “What got me the move here was playing on the left-wing.

    “So I’d say the left-wing or as a No 8.”

    Grealish hopes new pal Erling Haaland can help get his assist count up.

    The ex-Aston Villa man added: “He is a great guy, so fun to be around.”

    When you get that chance you have to grab it with both hands and that is what I will try and do.

    Jack Grealish

    And Guardiola hopes his other players will help Grealish recapture his best form.

    Grealish has scored only six goals in all competitions since moving to the Etihad from boyhood club Aston Villa in the summer of 2021.

    What is more, he has provided just four assists in his 44 appearances for the Prem champions so far.

    Yet Guardiola insists he does not worry about the numbers — and says he is ‘delighted’ with the way the England ace is performing.

    Having picked up an ankle injury early in the season, he has returned to start both of the last two matches in the Champions League.

    Yet against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, he was hauled off soon after the visitors took a second-half lead — and City came storming back to win 2-1 without him.

    His substitution was greeted with sarcastic cheers by a handful of home supporters, who clearly feel he has yet to justify his British-record price tag.

    But the manager clearly still has faith in the wide man and even claims he was let down by his team-mates against the German side.

    Guardiola said: “I want him to make goals and I want him to make assists, he does too. But it’s not about that.

    “It’s about his contribution without the ball and what he can produce for the other ones and the many, many things that he’s able to do.

    “In the last game, in the final third he was the only one up front who made aggressive runs one against one.

    “But he didn’t have his mates in the box to make assists — so we left him isolated.

    “When he goes against the full-back, only Haaland was there. Ilkay Gundogan was not there, Kevin De Bruyne was not there. And they should be there.

    “In the first half, especially with the ball, we didn’t make any movements to help the players who had the ball — and give more possibilities to make it easier.”

    I want him to make goals and I want him to make assists, he does too.

    Pep Guardiola on Grealish

    Grealish caught the eye during City’s US tour in the summer and felt he was ready to kick-start his career at the Etihad.

    Yet he suffered a nasty injury soon after the big kick-off and Guardiola admits he needs time to get back to where he was.

    But the City boss has vowed to stand by his man saying: “It’s just a question of time to get back a little bit his momentum that he had at the beginning of the season.

    “I try to give him the little bit of continuity because he deserves it.”

    Grealish’s problem is that he is competing with Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Cole Palmer and even new boy Julian Alvarez for the wide attacking spots in Pep’s team.

    But the Spaniard said: “He competes with top, top players as well and he knows it perfectly.

    “But he never complains about that. He’s such a nice guy and in the games when he didn’t play, he’s the first to help the team.

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    “In the training sessions, he’s always there. I’m delighted with his behaviour and everything.”

    City fans would like to see more from their record buy — but Guardiola’s faith that he will come good remains as strong as ever.

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