Pep Guardiola faced the media at the CFA this afternoon ahead of part two of the double header with Southampton, this time in the Premier League.
City beat the Saints 3-1 in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night and will want to do the same with the Blues still six points behind leaders Liverpool.
The only update on the injury front was that of Angeliño, following him going down with injury on Tuesday. Pep Guardiola confirmed that it was ‘just cramp’ and the Spaniard will be fit if needed for this weekends game.
“Everybody is fit. Yesterday we trained two hours. I think the guys who are injured are still injured, the guys who are fit are fit.”
Pep: “It’s not easy for the players”
Guardiola was asked about the abuse Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka suffered when substituted against Crystal Palace. And the manager understands the players frustrations:
“We have to respect our supporters. It is not easy for the players sometimes. I understand Xhaka, the emotions, the moment, I don’t know what’s going on. Maybe I’m not the right man to say, sometimes I can’t control emotions…”
Guardiola on Tommy Doyle and youth players
Guardiola was asked about the emotional debut of local lad Tommy Doyle on Tuesday and whether it’s important to have that connection with the club:
“It’s important to have a relation with local players, with our people, fans who are born here. It’s happened for the quality of the players, you have to deserve to be there. The problems we have and we know him from pre-season…
He played at a good level but he is still 17, 18 years old. His position is still the second team but it’s an incredible opportunity.”
However, he only says Phil Foden and Eric Garcia are ready for the step up to the Premier League:
“Right now, Phil Foden, Eric Garcia is closer because everytime he plays it’s a high level and he doesn’t make mistakes. The other ones, they have to work and work and work.”
Pep wants lesser competitions
Pep was asked about the hectic winter schedules and Jurgen Klopp’s complaints about how stacked a fixture list it is:
“How we play bigger squads? Less fixtures, less competitions, more recovery. We play 27 tmes in the winter time. Always we talk in UEFA meetings but nothing. I agree with Jurgen when he makes statements that it’s too much.”
Guardiola on learning in the Premier League
Guardiola was often told his methods would not work in England. But 198 points and two Premier League medals later, he was asked what he’s learnt from the league:
“I learn a lot, before I was not concerned about long balls, defending channels, set pieces. Learned about how to handle the regeneration of players because you have lots of games…
The physicality is higher than anywhere else. And I learn about my players, how they are and how they adapt.”
A well wish from one boss to another
England Rubgy coach Eddie Jones is set to lead the team out tomorrow for a World Cup final and Pep and him are old friends from various trips the manager took to Munich:
“All the best, good luck. It’s an honour for England to be in the final. It’s an incredible event for England. All the best.”
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