Guardiola: We always play to win, regardless of fixture congestion – Manchester City FC

Guardiola: We always play to win, regardless of fixture congestion – Manchester City FC

Pep Guardiola insists the increasingly difficult schedule his side are facing will not see him play weakened sides.

City’s season-opener at home to Aston Villa was postponed due to our involvement in the Champions League tournament in Portugal and has now been rearranged for later this month, while our recent trip to Everton was called off after a series of positive Coronavirus tests across the squad and backroom staff.

And with a trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday for a Carabao Cup semi-final against United quickly followed by our FA Cup third-round tie at home to Birmingham, the fixture schedule has a brutal, unrelenting feel.

But Guardiola insists he will not select his side with a future game in mind, and promised the City fans he will always put a team on the pitch that is geared to win, regardless of the competition we are in. 

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“Like I’ve said before, I don’t even think about what will happen on Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday,” he said. “We will travel to London and get tests from Premier League and see who are negative, we then decide the team [to face Chelsea].

“For sure we will prepare for the FA Cup third round with the best team we have. That’s for sure. Maybe I use EDS or U23s we will see – but the team will play to win, that is for sure, the people who know me know that we will never drop one competition, ever.

“When the opponent is better, we congratulate them, but we go to Stamford Bridge to play to win.”

Meanwhile, the boss says being able to adapt to new situations will be key for his side this season.

With the global health pandemic continuing to cause unforeseen and unprecedented difficulties, it is difficult to prepare with the same kind of certainty we are used to.

But Guardiola refuses to complain and says he wants to see his players and staff embrace the challenges we face and show dexterity in the way they work. 

“Not just myself, all people around the world manage a weird and strange and new situation, and the best way is to adapt,” he said.

“If the Premier League say go and play at Goodison park, we go there knowing the risk for what could happen if we go there and contaminate.

“The protocols are good, the rules are good, but right now there are a lot of doubts about the pandemic situation, even with doctors.

“Sometimes you have to take decisions. You have to adapt day by day.

“I know the economy is important and we are lucky to be able to do our job, some people can’t. We are fortunate to be able to do what we do.

“But the health of people is the most important thing. It is important to be safe. And then after that, step by step, we can recover the economies all around the world.”

We will have full coverage of Sunday’s game against Chelsea right here on ManCity.com

Our Matchday Centre will get under way at 2.30pm, with text updates throughout the evening meaning you won’t miss a beat. 

Our We’re Not Really Here live matchday show starts at 3.30pm, when Nedum Onuoha and Joleon Lescott will be our guests. 

And CITY+ subscribers can enjoy a full 90-minute replay from midnight. 

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