After the disappointment of dropping another two points against Crystal Palace on Saturday, there’s little time to dwell as a trip to Sheffield United is just around the corner. It took a while, but City did manage to beat Sheffield United 2-0 in the previous encounter between the two sides at the Etihad Stadium.
Here’s what the boss had to say when he faced the media ahead of this one…
Motivation to finish second
A weird predicament for Pep Guardiola; but with Liverpool running away with the Premier League title, the boss was asked about the motivation to carry on in the league:
“To finish second, to improve every day and for the knockout games in the other competitions we have. There always needs to be something exciting to keep going and improve.
You cannot play good games in the knockout competitions if you are not running well in the Premier League. It is not that you are good one day and bad in another. You have to maintain your standards.”
Laporte and Leroy updates
Once again, there were updates on the two players remaining on the treatment table. Aymeric Laporte is ‘getting better’, but Guardiola doesn’t know when the centre-back will return to action. Leroy Sané is yet to return on the pitch with the rest of the squad.
Injuries for Stones and Mendy
There are a few casualties from last weekends game, with John Stones suffering a ‘problem in his leg’ which put his availability for Tuesday night’s game in doubt. Also, Benjamin Mendy is suffering from ‘muscle fatigue’ after the game and is also unlikely to feature.
Guardiola on City’s form
With the juggernaut form of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, it’s hard to really compare what kind of season Manchester City are having. Guardiola still maintains that his side have performed to a high level:
“I have my opinion of what we are as a team. We cannot deny that Liverpool are extraordinary in terms of football and results.
Every day I live almost 24 hours thinking about what we are doing and what we can do better so I am not distracted by other teams and leagues.”
“I have the same opinion. Our games are good. We concede few but the opponents score goals from few chances and that is difficult to solve. We have to improve in this area because we have scored more goals than Liverpool.”
Criticism of John Stones
The past few weeks have been tough for Manchester City’s number five, with Stones struggling to pick up any sort of form after a consistent number of injuries. Guardiola feels the the criticism of the defender is unfair:
“It was unfair. I’m there, we are there. You have ups and downs in your career. We know his quality.”
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