Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will not whip star striker Erling Haaland ahead of the World Cup.
Haaland will not be at the winter tournament in Qatar as Norway failed to qualify, meaning he will have a month off midway through the Premier League campaign.
Still, Guardiola has no intention of abusing his new signing in the months leading up to his mid-season break.
“No. Absolutely not. The decision I want to make here until the World Cup is not a second to think about what will happen at the World Cup,” Guardiola said ahead of Sunday’s visit to Newcastle.
“The World Cup is not going to think for a second about what will happen to the clubs after the World Cup.
“Erling is going to play because we think he has to play and he has to play really well. He also has to feel the competition in the team and every decision made is in the interest of winning this game.
“Unfortunately for him, Norway cannot go to the World Cup. He will have one or two weeks off and after that he will return to training and be ready to continue.
Haaland made a brilliant start to his City career with two goals on his Premier League debut, but there was a lot of talk about the fact he failed to score against Bournemouth last weekend.
Guardiola is in no doubt that the 22-year-old will be fine.
“Erling before the game against Liverpool, he didn’t play 90 minutes for several months because he was injured,” he said. “He needed time. He’s better, the connections will come.
“The last game he was involved in the game. It’s a matter of time, we have to do it faster but it will happen.
“The best quality players around the world need to move into smaller spaces, especially forwards. Striker is the most difficult position in the world, you have more opponents close to you.
“That’s why we have to be more specific. It’s a question of time. It won’t be a problem.