Rodolfo Borrell has told “huge talent” Cole Palmer to stay patient and make the most of any opportunities he gets to play in star-studded Manchester City’s side after the teenager impressed during Friday’s FA Cup win over Swindon.
The 19-year-old finished with a goal and an assist to his name as Covid-hit City ran out comfortable 4-1 winners over the League Two Robins to book their place in the fourth round.
Palmer’s first major contribution was to put City’s opening goal on a plate for Bernardo Silva before Gabriel Jesus capitalised on a defensive error to make it 2-0 just before the half-hour mark.
Ilkay Gundogan’s 59th-minute free-kick put the result beyond doubt and, although Harry McKirdy pulled a goal back for Swindon, the visitors added a fourth through rising star Palmer.
The England Under-21 international has been handed several cameo appearances this season but forcing his way into Pep Guardiola’s starting XI is no easy matter, and City assistant manager Borrell says the young forward needs to keep working hard to earn his opportunities.
“He obviously is a huge talent, that is no secret to anybody, so everybody has been able to see (against Swindon), but at the end of the day he is a player that is training with us on a daily basis,” said Borrell, who took the City reins against Swindon after Guardiola tested positive for Covid.
“It’s difficult sometimes to give him more minutes because you know the level of competition that we have in our squad so it’s not easy.
“But it’s about being patient, keep working hard, because you still have to work hard and then, when you have these kind of opportunities to show the talent that he is, (he has to take them) and he needs to show that on a consistent basis when he has the chance to perform.
“But obviously a huge, huge quality and great potential and great for us as a club. And for him as a player.”
Swindon manager Ben Garner, whose team are pushing for promotion from League Two, was proud of his side for their performance against the Premier League champions, even if the result was rarely in doubt.
“It was a huge game for the players and sometimes you can go out of your head and make decisions that weren’t the right ones so the important thing is we learn from it,” he said.
“There were so many positives out there, so many outstanding performances.
“You think about how much that side is worth, you look at the talent on the pitch – that’s an absolutely outstanding football team and I was really proud of how we performed against them.”