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Other SportsGuardiola unconcerned by Manchester City defeats

Guardiola unconcerned by Manchester City defeats

Pep Guardiola has brushed off concerns around Manchester City’s recent wobble and believes it can be explained by the absence of a number of experienced players.

City’s flight to Germany for tomorrow night’s Champions League clash with RB Leipzig was delayed due to bad weather this afternoon but they go into the game on the back of two defeats – to Newcastle in the EFL Cup and at Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday.

The European champions have been without a number of senior players from last season’s treble success in the early parts of this campaign and Guardiola, while pleased with how the other squad members have stepped up, says they will improve in time.

He said: “I don’t know what’s going to happen this season. What the players have done is unbelievable. We conceded two shots on target [at Wolves] and we lost the game, that’s football.

“We have to improve. The basis of what we did last season was [John] Stones, Rodri, Bernardo [Silva], [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Ilkay] Gundogan, [Jack] Grealish and they haven’t been there.

“Sometimes you have to adjust, it’s normal.”

The sale of Gundogan, the injuries to Stones, Bernardo, De Bruyne and Grealish as well as Rodri’s suspension has meant more playing time for the likes of Julian Alvarez, Jeremy Doku and Mateo Kovacic and Guardiola has been impressed by their contributions.

“Mateo and Julian have been amazing,” he added. “I could not expect much more from Mateo this early. [Likewise] Jeremy. But there are some players who know exactly what they have to do because they’ve been here seven years together. I breathe and they know what to do, some don’t. It will take games and games for them to.

“Now we have to move forward. We have Leipzig, then away to Arsenal. We’re not going to win the Premier League at Wolves or lose it.

“[We need to] Get back to our principles and learn from the game. I’m more than pleased at what they’ve done so far and you have to move on.”

The positive news for Guardiola is that Stones, Bernardo, Grealish and Rodri could be available for the Leipzig game.

Speaking specifically about Bernardo and Stones, he added: “They feel better. Bernardo better than John. Both will travel and we decide tomorrow.

“I’m really happy they’re back. John has not played one minute this season. Bernardo had an injury and the birth of his beautiful baby daughter but they’re back and it’s good news for us.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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