Sane reveals World Cup snub is his ‘big motivation’

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Despite enjoying a wonderful season for Manchester City in 2017-18, the winger was a shock exclusion from Joachim Low’s 23-man squad last summer

Leroy Sane has claimed he does not reflect on last year’s exclusion from the Germany World Cup squad.

The Manchester City winger had been expected to be a shoo-in for a place in the starting XI, let alone the squad, but was surprisingly omitted by Joachim Low.

Without Sane, Germany crashed out of the competition in the group stages, the first time they had exited the World Cup at the first-round stage in 80 years.

The attacker has since been recalled to the Germany set-up and played all four of their Nations League games, however, the 23-year-old has admitted it took a certain level of mental toughness to recover from last summer’s heartbreak.

"Obviously, it was hard for me but I think at the end I was just like, ‘OK, you have to keep on going',” Sane told BT Sport.

“I think if you start thinking about it and being mad and trying to find excuses and talk about it, I think it doesn’t help you at all.

“You will just think back: 'what happened?' And you’re not focused on what happens the next season. You have to play better to improve, maybe for the next World Cup or to be involved in some other tournaments.

"For me, it was just like a big motivation: ‘Yeah, OK, now I have to do more and more and more'.”

After a difficult off-season, Sane also endured a challenging opening to the 2018-19 campaign and did not start any of City's opening four Premier League games.

However, he has since recovered his form and he has missed just one of City’s last 20 league matches, contributing eight goals and 10 assists in that time.

Sane is undoubtedly flourishing at the Etihad Stadium, much of which he puts down to Pep Guardiola’s expert coaching.

"We train a lot, especially in the tactics training, to know our routine, to know exactly where we are or where the players are,” he said. “[We train] in different situations so that we have always solutions.

“Pep always wants us, especially the strikers, to do our own thing and sometimes to create something different, not to be predictable."

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As well as working on the team’s tactics, Sane also revealed what aspect of his own game he is trying to improve.

He added: “I’m training a lot now on my right foot to not be so predictable.

“Eventually, everyone knows what you do and, if you have just one option, it will be easy for the defenders to figure it out, especially if you do it in every game. That’s why I’m trying always to improve and become unpredictable.”

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