Pep Guardiola has told Gabriel Jesus to push Sergio Aguero hard for Manchester City selection, with the Brazilian enjoying the rivalry.
Gabriel Jesus hailed his "special" week after boosting his case for Manchester City selection over "legend" Sergio Agüero with five goals in two games. After getting on the scoresheet in a 7-0 FA Cup win over Rotherham United at the weekend, Jesus hit four in a 9-0 demolition of Burton Albion in the first leg of the EFL Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday.
With Agüero not in the squad for the Burton game, Jesus staked his claim to start Monday's Premier League game at home to Wolves as the title race continues. City boss Pep Guardiola has challenged Jesus to push Agüero hard for a place in City's front line and the Brazil striker is relishing the battle.
Helping the team, scoring goals
"Sergio is a legend here, important to the club, and plays very well – we all know that," Jesus told reporters after the first four-goal haul of his career. "I'm here to help the team, to help Sergio, Pep and everyone and work hard, make it happen. I just wanted to enjoy the game and score. Sergio has scored a lot of goals for City and I respect him as a legend, so when Pep puts him in the team, he helps. I am the same when I am on the pitch. It was very important for my mentality. I need to score goals, I know that. Sometimes it's difficult but I always try to score and help the team. I am a striker so I have to score, but I always try to play well and help the team every time. This week is special to me because I have scored a lot. I maybe I tried too hard against Rotherham and missed two or three goals. I work hard every day on scoring goals, and that is why this made me so happy, as my work paid off."
Returning to form
Jesus has only scored three goals in 16 Premier League appearances this season but the 21-year-old feels he is bouncing back from a period of poor form after underachieving at last year's World Cup. "Last year was difficult for me after the World Cup, but I have forgotten that now," he added. "I think I played very well at the World Cup but didn't score a goal. In Brazil it is difficult when you are a striker and don't score at the World Cup. "My feeling is back, and I have been so happy that my family is here with me. On Tuesday they go to Brazil, but that is life. You need to work, to do what you love, and football is what I love."