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 kick off their title defense at West Ham on Sunday and spread more fear across the league when they sealed the signing of Haaland in June.
However, his debut for City did not go as planned as he went blank in the 3-1 Community Shield defeat to Liverpool, including hitting the crossbar at close range.
Speaking to former Newcastle United and England striker Alan Shearer of BBC Sport and The Athletic, the 22-year-old outlined his process as a top scorer and why he won’t allow those flaws to carry over into future games.
“As a striker, I think it’s very important that when you’re in the game, you don’t think too much,” Haaland said. “If I go into my next game thinking about the chance I missed in the last game, it’s not good.
“You have to go into the game hungry. It doesn’t matter what happened before, if you’ve scored three goals, if you’ve scored zero, if you haven’t scored in a while. You have to go into the game with the same mindset. And then I think not to think about it too much.”
Haaland scored 86 goals in 89 games in two-and-a-half years at Borussia Dortmund, but admitted there is extra pressure playing for City, who have won four of their last five Premier League titles, including Liverpool by one. point last season.
“Yes, of course it’s pressure,” he said. “I’m playing for the champions… so there’s pressure, but in my head, it’s about trying to get on the field smiling as much as I can and trying to enjoy the game. Because life goes by fast and suddenly my career is over.
“You saw it with my dad (who retired at 30 due to an injury), it’s suddenly gone. So it’s about trying to enjoy every minute because I’m so lucky to have this job and to be here.
“Deep down, we just want to enjoy football, enjoy what was our childhood dream. There will be people talking about you, especially as a striker, if you don’t score, here comes the chat, but in the end you can’t choose what people say, what people read, what people think about you.
“This is something you have to live with. And yes, I kind of like it.”
Haaland also described his first impressions of working with Pep Guardiola, who has won four Premier League titles, four EFL Cups and an FA Cup since arriving as manager in 2016.
“He is demanding in his messages about what to do and about doing everything 100%,” he added. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a normal type of running exercise, do it 100% like you do on the field. Train while you play. Easy as that.”
The imposing striker is hoping to bring something extra to City, who were agonized out of the Champions League by Real Madrid in last season’s semi-finals.
“We came in as champions last year, so we have to do the same kind of thing they did and hopefully even better,” said Haaland.
“In the important games to be even better, the Champions League and the cups, and also keep the Premier League all the time.
“It’s not easy, as we know. It’s a tough league with a lot of good teams, but it’s about building on what they’ve had here for so many years.
“I want to come in here and bring my own kind of thing to the game and hopefully be better.”