"Their manager is exceptional, one of the best..." - Pep Guardiola pre Southampton press conference
Pep Guardiola discussed how Manchester City will deal with the week off after the Southampton game, when Riyad Mahrez is expected to return after Algeria's elimination from the African Cup of Nations, updates on Nathan Ake, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and his thoughts on James Ward-Prowse.
Updates on Oleksandr Zinchenko and Nathan Ake:
"Nathan [Ake] is ready, [Oleksandr] Zinchenko no."
On Riyad Mahrez:
"Now he has a holiday for a week. After African Cup of Nations he has permission for one week off and will come back with the team next week."
"Just focus on the Southampton game. I couldn't care less [what we have done] in the past. My focus in the last week is Southampton, that’s all."
"The quality they have, the manager [Ralph Hasenhüttl] is exceptional, one of the best in the Premier League by far. It's always a tough game. Our players know we have an incredible challenge tomorrow."
"He's [James Ward-Prowse] the best [set-piece] taker I've ever seen, or is best right now worldwide. No better taker than Ward Prowse. He is so good you maybe miss his quality as a player, he is a team player, he has great quality with and without the ball. But as a set piece taker he is exceptional."
Pep on the upcoming break:
"We spoke with the club and it’s not safe to go altogether there [Abu Dhabi] with the virus. We decide that everyone goes for themselves with family and friends."
"We adapt. We adjust. Sometimes we never had a long week, we have games every three days, so we adapt. Now the players can be off and have their mind free. We spend time also talking about the game we have ahead of us now."
Written by: @coIgcra
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