"I don't want to be like United, Liverpool..." – Pep Guardiola pre Southampton Press Conference
Pep Guardiola spoke to the media ahead of Southampton's visit to the Etihad tomorrow and discussed a range of topics including his comments about wanting more fans to come and watch the side against Southampton, the General Secretary of Manchester City's Official Supporters Club, Kevin Parker's comments in response about sticking to coaching, and the fanbase.
Guardiola also provided an update on John Stones and Aymeric Laporte and discussed Phil Foden's versatility.
Pep on Kevin Parker's comments:
"Did I say after the game that I was disappointed that the stadium was not full? An interpretation is an interpretation. I am not going to apologise for what I said. It's not the first time I said in my career, I said at Barcelona and Bayern, when we played a tough game like Leipzig was and play three games later I know how difficult it is, to ask for us all to it again on Saturday again. What I said was we need the support, it doesn't matter how many people come but I invite them to come and enjoy the game because we need the support.
"I am entirely grateful for the support that we had against Leipzig, away at home. I always say if guys want to come we will be incredibly grateful because I know how difficult the game will be and I know we need our people. I never sit here and ask why people don't come? If you don't come then don't. I will not apologise to him [Kevin Parker]."
Pep on no striker:
"What we try to do is try to play better. To do it in a better way. We know we don't have a player to score 25 goals so we need to spread them throughout the team. Nathan scored on Wednesday."
Pep on Southampton:
"They played really well against United at home. They are one of the toughest games we had last season, both [games]. At home in the first 30 minutes, they were the best team and created many problems. I know Ralph from Germany and it will be similar to Leipzig, they are very quick and organised. With an incredible lack of rest because Champions League is do demanding. They've had a long week to prepare, that's why we need everyone together to do our best. I know our fans will be there tomorrow to support us and hopefully, Mr Parker can be there to watch us."
Pep on the fanbase in comparison to those of United, Liverpool and Barcelona:
"This is a big mistake. We are who we are. We are proud of who we are. I know our history, I have learned that they were in the lower divisions and fans travelled to watch them. I don't want to be like United, Liverpool, Bayern, Barcelona, Madrid. We are who we are. People put words in my mouth. I don't have a problem with fans, if I did I would stand aside. It was an incredibly tough game against Leipzig, I saw how difficult it was for my team in the dressing room and I know Southampton will be tough, so I asked the people to come to help them. But these guys don't understand my comments but I am here to defend what I said. When I make mistakes I will apologise but I will not apologise for what I said. I know who we are. I like the fans that we have."
Pep on Nathan Ake following the passing of his father:
"Nathan has shown his personality, we are concerned we are sad, our condolences to his mother and brother, family and friends. All we can say is we are here for him. We try in the last hours to tell him how happy we are to be close with him and I'm sure on Saturday he will be ready to fight for us."
Pep on John Stones and Aymeric Laporte's injuries:
"Muscle injury. Stones didn't play for us and played 90 minutes for the national team and came back injured. Laporte came back with some niggles but he wanted to play against Leicester but after that game his niggles were a little bit higher and we didn't want to take a risk. I don't know aginst Wycome or Chelsea but hopefully, they can be ready after."
Pep on reports about a Foden position change:
"Foden can play in five positions and in every position, he will play extraordinary because he is an extraordinary player. He couldn't play in the Euro final cause of injury, a difficult injury, and he played against Leipzig for the first minutes after three training sessions. We are all here to help him."
Written by: @NA1907_
All quotes as quoted by Manchester Evening News.
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