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  • Colin Cranmer

"It's a dream come true" - Pep Guardiola and Sergio Gomez pre FC Copenhagen Press Conference

Pep Guardiola and Sergio Gomez spoke to the press ahead of Manchester City's second of three home games in a row, against FC Copenhagen in the Champions League. Pep Guardiola give updates on Kyle Walker and Rodri, as well as speaking about Erling Haaland, Phil Foden, and Sergio Gomez (three City fans). Sergio Gomez himself spoke on how it is playing for City, growing up supporting the club, and playing under Pep Guardiola, having played for Barcelona's academy.


Pep Guardiola gives updates on Rodri and Kyle Walker:

"We will train this afternoon and we will know exactly. Rodri feels better, Kyle [Walker] I think is out. But we have training later."

Erling Haaland's had a decent start at City:

"At his age no-one can compete with him, no-one. The numbers speak for itself. Inside the locker room, on the pitch we see things not on the stats that make us happy to have him here."
"It depends on them, normally happens [good team chemistry] with nice people. He has a lot of gestures with young players, staff, on the pitch when it's going well how he encourages the guys. He's not just a striker scoring goals. It comes from his education."

Manuel Akanji has also started well:

"Really good, we are very pleased. Especially as a person, incredibly educated, the performances speak for themselves too."

Phil Foden is not bad either, is he?

"We want him to stay years and years."
"He is an exceptional player. He has grown up a lot and is reliable in terms of his physical condition. Every three days he can play."
"I agree with Kevin [De Bruyne] [he will eventually play more in the middle], [he] hasn't played there many times. Phil can play five positions, even play as a left-back. In the middle [you] have to pay a bit more attention. The sides is easier. With the ball, especially without, he has to improve. It's normal. His age and desire to learn he will do it, no doubt."
"The impact when I arrived was 'wow'. The second he started to play important games, he doesn't feel pressure. Like Bernardo [Silva]. He behaves better. You saw the assist for Erling [Haaland], starts for our box, he can do it and in smaller spaces, good. As a striker also the movements in behind. Incredible can do many things. Every years the more games you play you're a better player."
"I wish, I wish England to do a good tournament [at the World Cup]. I speak to Gareth [Southgate] and know most of the players. Hopefully they can do it."

Sergio Gomez got an assist on his derby debut:

"He pays attention a lot, so intelligent, understands situations quick. He settles perfectly with the team."

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Champions League every week because of the World Cup:

"It is what it is, [we] have to pay attention. A mistake now, you don't have time to recover. With the World Cup the schedule is like this, we have to adapt. We know how important our home games are. I spend last night and today watching Copenhagen. They are really good, well organised. You have to come back to the reality and put our effort to win an important game. Nine points in three games we'd be so close [to qualify for the Champions League knock-outs]."

Keeping up the standards:

"That's the problem, after the game against United it's the biggest issue. Hopefully I can show them to pay lots of attention. Not easy to break the structure they [Copenhagen] had against Sevilla. I know exactly what they are able to do. They have quality, from goal kicks, when they have the ball don't just play long balls. They have courage to play, we have to force them to play long balls. Everyone knows. I was surprised this morning how many good things they do."

Riyad Mahrez:

"He knows it [what he needs to do]. I know perfectly Riyad. We need him to come back to his best and when he's the best - personality, ability, quality, his love for this game. Step by step he will come back. Now he's not playing much but he has to come back better physical condition. The rest I cannot teach him anything - he's too good."

FC Copenhagen are the opposition:

"The challenge is try to do his best. He's already a manager at 34, has the abiltiy to do it. At 44 he'll [Copenhagen manager, Jacob Neestrup] be an excellent manager for this experience. I don't advise anyone, enjoy it and do what you believe is best for your team."
"Always I see the best of the opponents. Against Dortmund and Sevilla, [they were] so aggressive. Every movement, the wingers and attacking midfielder know what to do. How aggressive [they are] with the full-backs supporting."

"Expectations is to handle the journalists and people who expect us to win. I'm not this type of manager [to undermine the opposition]. Never. Play against top teams or lower teams, [I] have a lot of respect. Last season in your country [Denmark] they were champions, and sometimes the next season [you] have to have moments [where] you struggle. For one game, everything can happen. Last night I watch them against [Borussia] Dortmund and today I saw them with their new manager and against Sevilla. I don't watch the table or the position, I watch who they are as a team. My staff help a lot to discover. In front of the players we see who we face. Champions League, I have too much respect. This won't be an exception tomorrow."
"I pay attention to my team. I pay attention if they take seriously or not the compliments in the last games. If someone talks too much, I don't like it. I pay attention in training, who behaves. I know we are who we are and can create problems for them. But we don't win just because we are Manchester City. Many examples happen in the past, if we are not who we are we struggle..."

City need to improve, according to Pep:

"Not just Sunday, Wolves the same. Most difficult thing is to do the easy things. We are alone, simple passes and we lost it. These are our principles. You have to pass to blue shirts, not to red shirts. Lately we aren't doing good, in the important stages - it's simple to stop it..."


Now, Sergio Gomez speaks:

"When you come to a big club it's hard, overall I'm happy with my contributions. Teammates and coaches [at Manchester City] help me to adapt quickly. I try to work hard to play more. I train harder and make things difficult for Pep [Guardiola] to choose a starting eleven."

Gomez speaks on his team-mate Erling Haaland:

"We are happy to have him, training is the same [as the games], sometimes he does even more spectacular things. Great to have him [at Manchester City], we know what he's capable of. We're happy to have him with us."
"When I am in the dugout I enjoy him. He's amazing, an outstanding player, we are aware how important he is. We see him more often, I try to learn from him, his hunger and ambition. He doesn't settle for one goal. In the derby after we conceded the third goal he was angry as he wanted more, a clean sheet. It's important to see that."

All paths led to City:

"I've been at two great clubs [Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund], young players work hard to reach this level. Happy for the minutes I've got here [at Manchester City], I didn't get the minutes at [Borussia] Dortmund but happy with the minutes here. I try to do my best and make things difficult to Pep [Guardiola] to make choices. I'm here to work hard and play as much as I can."

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Settling in:

"When you come to a big club you're aware what's in the squad, they're all great players. You are expectant at the beginning. They all host me well, I feel one more in the squad. I'm grateful for their support in matches. I'm happy in general, as a young player coming to this squad."

The boss:

"It's a dream [to work with Pep Guardiola], when I arrived at Barcelona academy it was the first years of Pep as a manager. I saw his successful career. It's a dream to be coached by him, I made my dream come true. I learn from him when we chat or train. I take all the information he gives me, Hopefully I can learn more in the years to come."
"Timing is important at this level, the right moment to pass or move. You acquire that through minutes, I learn little by little and adapt to the philosophy. Last season was the first as a left-back, here he's asking me to play more inside and be in the build-up and help with not losing the ball."

Sergio Gomez grew up a City fan:

"I've always been a City fan, [it is] a dream come true [to play for Manchester City]. I watched games with my brother. I'm living this dream. I try to help the team. I know the value of the win on Sunday for us and the fans. I'm happy for the result, a very important result for us. For me especially, I'm not from here but I love the club and it's important to me."

Phil Foden:

"I played against him many times at Barcelona [academy] or the European final or the [U17] World Cup final. I had to suffer him in that final. I follow him all his career. It's a luxury playing alongside him. He's a very important player. We chat about the previous games, sometimes a good outcome for me, sometimes for him. In that final [U17 World Cup] he played great and England deserved to win."


Written by: @coIgcra

Some quotes as quoted by Manchester Evening News and Manchester City.

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