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‘Together we are stronger’ – Guardiola asks for unity from Manchester City fans

Pep Guardiola has urged Manchester City fans to get behind his team, insisting “together we are stronger”.

Guardiola gestured at the home support during the 1-1 draw with Liverpool at the weekend, touching his ears as if to request more noise, as his side struggled in the second half to find their customary attacking fluency.

It is not the first time the former Barcelona boss has hinted at dissatisfaction with the vocal backing his players receive in home games.

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Speaking ahead of tomorrow night’s Champions League game with RB Leipzig, he struck a more conciliatory note, saying: “The stadium is always full, we have to play as best as possible, create as much to energise the people.

“The games last season, important games, against Arsenal for the Premier League, they [the fans] were there. We need that, in my humble opinion – to be successful we need our fans.

“Thank you so much, [because] without them [it is] not possible to be here. Together we are stronger. For them to be part of our game is much better and [when] we feel they are there, we play better.

“We have to do the first steps all the time. Tomorrow hopefully they can come and enjoy the game.”

A point against Leipzig will guarantee City top spot in Group G and a last 16 clash with a second-placed finisher. It will also mean the second leg is at home, something Guardiola feels is an advantage.

He added: “The first step is done to qualify for the next round but it’s important to finish [the next round] at home. We believe that having the second leg at home is an advantage and we have to take it.”

City’s form this season has not been as dominant as in previous years, and successive draws with Chelsea and Liverpool has seen them displaced by Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table.

Guardiola is not concerned, though, adding: “I think we are performing really well, we have to continue. We are not top of the league but I think we are playing well in general.”

The European champions have managed just three clean sheets in their last 11 games but their manager doesn’t feel defensive fragility is an issue.

He said: “The only game we conceded a lot of goals and chances was Chelsea [in a 4-4 draw].

“The rest is the same averages as last season. Against Liverpool we conceded two shots on target, Wolves one shot on target. Our average is good.

“I give credit to Chelsea. The rest is similar.”

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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