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Erling Haaland will not ‘think too much’ as he prepares for Premier League debut

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Erling Haaland has said he will not dwell on missed chances as he prepares for his Premier League debut with Manchester City.

The Premier League champions opened their title defense at West Ham on Sunday and spread further fear across the league when they sealed the deal for Haaland in June.

However, his debut for City did not go to plan as he kept a clean sheet in the 3-1 Community Shield defeat to Liverpool, including hitting the crossbar from close range late on.

Speaking to former Newcastle United and England striker Alan Shearer for BBC Sport and The Athletic, the 22-year-old outlined his progress as a goalscorer and why he won’t let those mistakes carry over into future games.

“As a forward, I think it’s really important not to think too much in the game,” Haaland said. “If I have to go into the next game thinking about the chance I missed last time, it’s not good.

“You have to go into the match hungry. It doesn’t matter what happened before, if you scored three goals, if you didn’t score zero goals, if you didn’t score a goal for a while. You have to go into the match with the same mentality. And so I think about he didn’t think too much about it.”

Haaland scored 86 goals in 89 games in two-and-a-half years at Borussia Dortmund but admitted there is added pressure playing for City, who have won four of the last five Premier League titles, including beating Liverpool by one. point last season.

“Yes, of course it’s pressure,” he said. “I’m playing for the champions… so the pressure is there, but in my head it’s about trying to go out on the pitch with a smile as much as possible and trying to enjoy the game. Because life goes fast and suddenly my career ended.

“You saw my dad (who retired at 30 due to injury) is suddenly over. So it’s about trying to enjoy every minute because I’m really happy to have this job and to be here.

“At the end of the day we just want to enjoy football, enjoy what was our childhood dream. People will talk about you, especially as a striker, if you don’t score then talk will come, but at the end of the day you can’t choose what people say, what people read , what people think of you.

“It’s something you just have to live with. And yes, I quite enjoy it.”

Haaland also outlined his early impressions of working with Pep Guardiola, who has won four Premier League titles, four EFL Cups and an FA Cup since his arrival as manager in 2016.

“In his messages, he demands what to do and do everything 100 percent,” he added. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a normal kind of running drill, do it 100 percent like you do on the field. Practice how you play. Easy.”

The towering striker hopes to bring something extra to City, who were knocked out of the Champions League in excruciating fashion by eventual winners Real Madrid in the semi-finals last season.

“We came as champions from last year, so we have to do the same things as them and hopefully even better,” Haaland said.

“To be even better in the important games, in the Champions League and the cups, and also to stay in the Premier League all the time.

“It’s not easy, as we know. It’s a tough league, so many good teams, but it’s about building on what they’ve had here for so many years.

“I want to come here and bring my own stuff to the game and hopefully get better.

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