Jeddah: The Club World Cup has given Manchester City a break from their recent poor form in the Premier League and the players are determined to put in the hard work and turn results around, midfielder Rodri said.
City have won only one of their last six league games and have dropped to fourth, five points behind leaders Arsenal, but the treble winners have booked their spot in the Club World Cup final with Tuesday’s 3-0 victory over Urawa Red Diamonds.
European champions City, who also won the Uefa Super Cup this year, have missed the influence of injured Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne while a foot problem has denied them the services of goal machine Erling Haaland recently.
While manager Pep Guardiola said De Bruyne, who has made only one league appearance this season due to a hamstring injury, has returned to training, but Haaland remains out.
The duo will miss Friday’s final against Brazilian side Fluminense.
Haaland watched on from the stands and the Norwegian still provoked the biggest cheer of the night at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium when he offered the crowd a wave as he appeared on the big screens during the first half.
The 23-year-old has already missed four matches due to a foot problem.
“Erling still cannot train,” said Guardiola.
Tournament rules state that the 23 players selected in the semi-final are the only players allowed to feature in the final.
Despite missing their biggest goal threat and creative hub, City were never troubled as an unblemished record for European sides against Asian teams at the Club World Cup was extended to 14 games.
“Happy to get to the final against Fluminense. It’s the last step to win the title, the only title the club doesn’t have, so we go for it,” added Guardiola.
“We have to give our best to try to win everything because it will be history. It would be an amazing run if we end with five titles,” Rodri said.
“(The last few games) left a very bad feeling in the changing room for us, so I think it was good for us to stop a little bit and then come here to the (Club) World Cup.
“When you’re in that moment you’re in this mixture of feeling that you have failed and dropping points. It’s a time when you can’t speak much, you have to be quiet, work as hard as you can and results will come out.”