Pep Guardiola has hailed Bernardo Silva for becoming an automatic starter in Manchester City’s quadruple bid.
Portugal midfielder Silva scored one and made the other for Sergio Aguero in City’s routine 2-0 Premier League win at Fulham on Saturday.
The 24-year-old bossed the game at Craven Cottage as the Citizens edged a step closer towards an unprecedented quadruple.
Manager Guardiola admitted he is left with no choice but to keep selecting Silva, given his scintillating form.
Bernardooooo, Silva!Running down the wing… 🔥
— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 30, 2019
“What Bernardo has done this season is a consequence of the way he accepts his role,” said Guardiola.
“He works so hard and the rewards are there. Right now with the way he plays I cannot do anything else but put him on the pitch and let him play.
“He’s so important for us. What he’s done for us is the best.”
Guardiola believes City must win all seven remaining league games to retain their title amid a tense battle with Liverpool.
Silva deflected Guardiola’s praise despite his starring role in south west London, insisting all that matters is that City keep winning.
“It’s most important for the team to keep winning,” Silva told City’s official club website.
“Then if it’s me scoring or Kun (Aguero) or Raz (Raheem Sterling) or Leroy (Sane) or Riyad (Mahrez) it doesn’t really matter, what matters is three points.
➕3️⃣! Bring on the next game ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/tfKzjuviIW
— Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) March 30, 2019
“We were very motivated, knowing that Liverpool had one more game than us, knowing that they were top of the league and we had to get back there.”
City’s travelling fans toasted Saturday’s win by singing tributes to life president Bernard Halford, who died in midweek.
And Silva dedicated the Fulham victory to Halford and his family.
“Everyone was sad for the news, he was a very important person for the club and the fans, so this win is for him,” Silva added.
Fulham could be relegated with defeat at Watford on Tuesday night, with caretaker manager Scott Parker well aware of the club’s perilous position.
Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic remains a doubt for the Vicarage Road trip, with a stomach muscle injury.
“Aleksandar has been struggling in the last few weeks,” said Parker.
“He featured for Serbia in the week against Portugal, he came back in and didn’t really have a chance to get right.
“The turnaround for Tuesday is going to be a day-to-day basis.
“We’ll try and get some treatment into him but really I couldn’t make a call on whether or not he will be fit for Tuesday.”