Pep Guardiola and Oleksandr Zinchenko speak ahead of City's final 'dead rubber' Champions League Group Stage game, having already topped the group. Ahead of the trip to Leipzig the pair discussed the will to continue winning and how it is a 'squad game' rather than a 'team game'.
Here's everything Pep Guardiola said:
"Kevin [De Bruyne] had the corona, was growing his condition and after had the setback. It's normal, the people who have the corona the next days feel so empty. Step by step he plays the first team minutes, tomorrow he will start and we'll see how many minutes he can play."
"All the guys who play tomorrow want to win. For respect for the competition, for Leipzig/Brugge/PSG. Every game is a good opportunity to improve. Many things we can do better. I know exactly which ones. The players will know. Tomorrow is another one for the things to do well we've practiced, to make more natural, more flow. It's an incredible opportunity in the Champions League. Prestigious for the club."
"It's a pity, on one side, we have an incredible academy, but a few were injured and in some situations we call them. The second team for the Youth League we make weak the second team to play in Europe. The first team is important. For them it's an incredible experience in Europe see how opponents behave, maybe tomorrow some can play minutes. We have five subs and maybe we can use them."
"Josh [Wilson-Esbrand], CJ [Egan-Riley] and Romeo [Lavia] plus Cole [Palmer] and Macca [James McAtee will travel]."
"We have a lot of injuries, we need them in training. Romeo is training with us. The other guys. Normally when they play in the second team they play with us. But in the last game vs Leeds Macca and Cole were with them. It depends on the schedule and the condition of the first team."
"Now we have just Ferran [Torres] injured. Gabriel [Jeses] won't travel to Germany for the orange yellow card he got in the last game has a problem so that's why he's not fit to play tomorrow. The rest are fit to travel and play."
"They are 18, 19. Everything ahead of them. The potential they have, they are fantastic young players. They need to settle perfectly how we behave. The potential is there."
"They'll stay here. We don't have loans and we need them."
"Development at the moment is to show they can play every week. After see which manager is there. We try to let them improve in the way we believe. As manager maybe they should go, go the way they want to play. They can do it in the second team but they aren't strong enough in the competition to make the step. They are training with the first team, the competition is so high, the quality the rhythm. That's why it's good to stay with us."
"We don't approach the game thinking what they think. We approach what we have to do to win. We will try to win the game. It's prestigious for many teams, to practice what we're doing well and improve what we're not doing well."
"Spain was one decade [of dominance], so more years to [PL] show that. The last years the latter stages we were there. What Liverpool, United, Chelsea have done. All four have qualified and it's a success for the Premier League."
"My impact on these managers [from Germany], Jurgen , Thomas and Ralf is zero. They set it for themselves. I learn from German culture and football a lot. I was a guy who got many things in this incredible country, they show how good they are, Nagelsmann at Munich. The manager for Southampton is exceptional, Ralf as well. Managers from Germany are a top level, I learn a lot from them."
"He [Dani Olmo] is a Leipzig player. If we are interested I'm sure City will contact Leipzig. Saying that he is a fantastic, fantastic player. I'm happy he had the courage to leave Barcelona to develop his skills and then arrive at Leipzig."
"Leipzig has a culture, they won't sign a manager who doesn't want to play their way. They want to play a specific way, pressing, gegenpressing, attacking, live, sleep, eat. This is the culture and the new manager will be similar like that. The impact of a new manager is clear, players open their eyes and play for the Europa League, an incredible competition, the money from UEFA."
"We won at home, it was difficult, what they did in Brugge. They are highs and lows this season but the philosophy, the way they play vs PSG they should win 2-0 ,3-0. They play their style, we have to be careful, impose our game. Play to improve. We don't play for the points, we play to improve. It's a perfect training game for us. We go to Leipzig, do a good dinner tonight to celebrate our qualification."
"The concern in Germany is the situation isn't good [game being played behind closed doors]. We have to learn the rest of the world, the situation is not solved. Still like the Prime Minister says, masks and distance, and be careful. It's there, that's my concern. We would love to play with the people. Authorities in Germany decide we play behind closed doors. No [it doesn't change the preparations]."
"It's not as a manager [difficult], we aren't exempt from society. We walk the streets, go to restaurants, we live a normal life. The situation in the last year and a half, lots of people die around the world every single day. It's getting better with the vaccines, people don't die after getting the vaccine which is the most important thing by far. In Europe some places cases go up, the new variant, the authorities say wear a mask please indoors. I don't think much in Manchester the people in the streets and restaurants, the masks. We have to adapt. We do the protocols, when we go out, we be careful. Everybody can get Covid. We have to still be ready and protect ourselves and the people."
"I'm not a doctor or scientist. What I read or listen about the situation, people say Covid will remain forever like the flu and another situation when you take a vaccine. Just adapt and make a normal life as much as possible. And try to protect you and the people."
And everything Zinchenko discussed:
"We want to continue the run, it's a good achievement to go through in first place. We are going to show our best performance, our rhythm."
"So important to have these kind of [quality] players. We have a long squad, everyone is working hard, waiting for the chance. Showing their best. We are lucky to have some of the best players in the world. We want to achieve something."
"It's a big achievement [topping the group ahead of PSG], we're so proud. We have a lot of challenges ahead of us, this team the last years what we have done, we have to try again to do every game and do our best performance."
"It's always nice to have this winning run. It doesn't matter which competition we're in, we're always trying to show our best performance. Only this season, we're happy with the position we are. Still a long way to go and I don't know what's going to happen."
"We are so lucky to have him [Bernardo Silva], such a good player. He's always working hard. I wish he can continue this until the end of the season and help the team."
"It depends on the game [how the full-backs play], the opponent. Whatever the manager says, we try to do our best. It depends what team we face."
"We have a long squad, everyone deserve to play. All the season, we have to respect every decision from the manager and each other. We have to fight for your place, work for your chance, when you get it you have to give 100%."
"I'm here for fifth season, I was in all the positions. The only thing I know is to be successful you need to work hard. Everyone is fighting, working hard. You have to give everything to say in the end to yourself you've done your best. If you deserve, you play, if you didn't, you didn't do enough."
"It's sad news for both teams [the game is behind closed doors]. For all football fans, for the players as well. We play for the fans but the most important thing is the health. I wish everyone is going to have good health."
Written by: @coIgcra
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