Pep Guardiola spoke ahead of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford this Saturday, discussing the hunger and desire of his side, his 'ridiculous' tactical plans, the latest on John Stones, and the improvement undergone by Erik Ten Hag's team over the past months.
"[John Stones] is not ready. I think everyone else is fit."
Approaching the derby:
"[It's a] knockout game, so many still to play. It's important Always is against United, especially the league. at the end is a football game. Many things happen in the future..."
"It ['ridiculous' tactics ideas] was a joke."
"[Manchester United have improved] a lot, it's normal, a new manager arrives. The improvement is clear. Not just results. I have the feeling every time at Old Trafford or the Etihad it's been a difficult game. Always were attractive games, both teams want to try to do the game. A lot of quality players in both sides. Top class managers. Will be a good game."
"It's Man United! With Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] they were close [to getting it right]. What happens in the previous seasons, I don't know what happens. It's normal United are there, still there, fighting. Nobody said they would be there; they are there because they have to be. It doesn't surprise me. It's why this competition [Premier League] is so difficult."
"Yes [I have a starting eleven in my head for the derby]. It's not about [what happened at Southampton]. Selection is like a coin, there are players who train really bad and after play really well. I know them, [it's] not about a single player. When eleven players don't play good, something is missing."
City fans' concern over Gundogan saying something is off:
"Normal preparation for a game. [Manchester] City fans cannot complain what this team is able to do, have done, do, and will do. We cannot talk on behalf of all the millions of fans, they are brilliant. I don't know what they think. What happened [against Southampton] didn't surprise me, it happened, unfortunately. [Can't say it] won't happen again. It happens because we do four Premier League titles in five years. Sometimes this competition shows me in terms of consistency what we have to do. This is our strength in previous seasons. After back to back two times, this could happen. We are not ready to go there and be ourselves. Not talking about winning the Carabao Cup or winning games, be ourselves. I was a little concerned it [the performance] could happen, I don't know if it will happen again."
The Premier League title race:
"Many games to play, of course it's a big week we cannot deny it. We play Spurs [after United]. Many games to play. After Southampton I'm not worried about the titles, it's to recover who are are game by game. This is what we have to do, [in the] important games in the season we were there. Just with the hypothetical importance against teams, the other ones we were not there. It's normal after the results of previous seasons. We have to change it immediately."
Written by: @coIgcra
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