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Pep Guardiola highlights single Kalvin Phillips regret in honest assessment prior to Carabao Cup tie



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted regret relating to the development of midfielder Kalvin Phillips at the Etihad Stadium.

The 27-year-old is set to make just his fifth start for Manchester City on Wednesday evening, when Pep Guardiola’s side face Newcastle United at St James’ Park in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

Phillips, who moved to the Etihad Stadium from Leeds United for £42 million, was an unused substitute on 24 occasions for Manchester City last season – making just four starts and 17 appearances from the bench.

The Englishman’s debut campaign was plagued by injury woes, but the midfielder has been determined to remain at the Etihad Stadium, rejecting the opportunity to leave the club during the recent summer transfer window.

Phillips featured against Nottingham Forest at the weekend, rushed on by Guardiola following the dismissal of Rodri, who will not feature domestically until Saturday 21st October, due to a three-match suspension for violent conduct.

The midfielder starred for Leeds under the management of Marcelo Bielsa, but has struggled to rekindle the form shown at Elland Road for the treble-winners.

Ahead of making his first start of the season for Manchester City, Guardiola has admitted regret about being unable to replicate Bielsa’s success with the 27-year-old.

“I think Marcelo [Bielsa] gave Kalvin [Phillips] the best of Kalvin in his career,” said the Catalan.

“I would love to have done with Kalvin with what Marcelo has done to him. But it is what it is.

“We have a specific way to play, sometimes he struggles with a few things, like the game, the previous one [against Nottingham Forest] was perfect, it’s his biggest quality.

“But he’s open-minded, always wants to learn, always wants to help, and this is what we’ll try to do.”

Manchester City face Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup third round in midweek, with the Blues bidding to win the competition for the first time since 2021, having suffered a shock quarter-final exit to Southampton last season.

Guardiola is expected the name a changed team on Wednesday evening, as the 52-year-old contends with an ongoing injury crisis.