"Club has signed an incredible player and person..." – Gundogan and Guardiola pre Dortmund Presser
Ilkay Gundogan and Pep Guardiola faced the media ahead of Borussia Dortmund's visit to the Etihad Stadium for Wednesday's Champions League clash, which follows a weekend of postponed Premier League fixtures after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
First up, Ilkay Gundogan.
On Erling Haaland:
"I think very well and the numbers speak for themselves. I think the club has signed an incredible player. He has done well on the pitch, but his character, determination and attitude off the pitch... His future is very bright. He will show us a lot more in the coming years. The club has signed an incredible player and an incredible person."
Playing against Borussia Dortmund:
"He [Haaland] was sitting right next to me [during the Champions League draw] and he was very happy. He asked me [how I felt]... We are both very excited."
"I know a few [Dortmund players] and I am very excited for the game here and the one in Dortmund. It will be very special for me."
On the Champions League and Haaland potentially making the difference:
"Obviously having a proper number nine, physically strong and determined, will help us a lot but the Champions League is something incredible to achieve. It’s never easy and sometimes little details decide the outcome. We will try again to go as far as possible in this competition."
Champions League near-misses in recent times:
"You should not regret anything and it was incredible to play in the final with this club. We will try to get there again and hopefully do better to try to reach the maximum. We will try and see what will happen."
On captaincy and dressing room changes after the summer:
"I think the atmosphere is quite similar. We have players who are really good guys and they are really important for the dressing room and big characters are stepping up. Players changing their clubs is normal. My role has maybe changed a little bit and become a little bit more about organisation. I was lucky enough to have Fernandinho and I have called him a couple of times for some advice. I don't try to change too many things."
On his future, with only a year remaining on his current deal:
"I am very happy [at City]. I was all the time I’m at the club. It’s football, it’s business, we will see what happens at the end of the season."
Next up, Pep Guardiola:
On fixture postponements following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II:
"It is what it is. I think everyone in this country [paid their respects] for the Queen that she deserves."
"John [Stones] is training, Kyle [Walker] doesn't. John is fit and good. [Aymeric Laporte] I don't think so [squad for tomorrow], but we will see. It was his first training session but he looked good. Yesterday was partial, today was complete and he moved really well."
On Manuel Akanji:
"With just one training session did well [on his debut]. [What we] have seen in training, we are very happy."
On Haaland continuing to make runs and player freedom:
"Imagine a striker that makes 50 runs and does not get the pass, he does not make the runs any more. We have to take decisions and the players have freedom and intentions. It is not a big problem for me, but we will need to work on it together whether we go to the left, the right or to try and score a goal."
Having former Dortmund players in Gundogan, Haaland, Sergio Gomez and Akanji:
"They know these players better than I know Dortmund players, that is for sure. They were there a few years. They can benefit. We will see tomorrow if it is an advantage. But also, they know the quality of the Dortmund players, too."
On the packed schedule:
"We want a team to win tomorrow. It is the World Cup and we have to be there in the Premier League. But in the Champions League, we have to qualify. We won the first game and in the Champions League at home, you have to be strong."
Playing Wednesday 8 pm and Saturday 12:30 pm:
"We are lucky that we don't travel... Most of them [players] are going to play both games."
Written by: @NA1907_
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