I need every Manchester City player for run-in - Guardiola

By Guy Atkinson 18 March 2019 405
I need every Manchester City player for run-in - Guardiola

Pep Guardiola insists that every member of Manchester City's squad will play some part in the closing weeks of what could be an historic season.

City dropped to second in the Premier League on Sunday after Liverpool's win over Fulham, but they do have a game in hand over Jurgen Klopp's side heading into the international break.

They also face a Champions League quarter-final against Tottenham and an FA Cup semi-final against Brighton and Hove Albion next month as the fixtures start to come thick and fast.

Important first-team players Sergio Aguero and Aymeric Laporte should be fresh after not being selected by Argentina and France respectively, while David Silva will enjoy a rest after retiring from Spain duty last year.

Guardiola will also hope to have injured trio John Stones, Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy back for the run-in as City look to complete a landmark quadruple.

"Always we are demanding, training hard to play as good as possible, again and again," he told a media conference.

"It's the only way because they are going to play – everybody. If we need 10 or 15 minutes it must be the best possible. We are here so far because of everybody, not just 11, 12 or 13 players.

"Everybody makes their own contribution and it has been massive.

"It's crazy, the fixtures in April. That's why you need everybody.

"The players that played good, incredible – they have to sustain that level. The players who need to increase, they have to improve because we need it. Everybody is going to play.

"Especially John, Kevin and Benjamin. All the players come back because we need everybody."

Riyad Mahrez was substituted with City 2-0 down to Swansea City in their FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday and could only watch on from the sidelines as Guardiola's side staged a dramatic late comeback to win 3-2.

Asked if the Algerian is struggling for form, Guardiola responded: "I have the feeling – I know we judge because we were losing – that he played good. He is playing good.

"You know I am not a guy to point the finger at someone when we drop or lose a point. Never."

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Guy Atkinson

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