fighting words | 

Manchester City will 'give every last drop of energy' in double bid, says Pep Guardiola

The Spaniard’s assertion comes after recently admitting his squad were in “big trouble” in terms of injuries heading into the season’s decisive phase.

Pep Guardiola has roused his Manchester City side ahead of the run-in (Nick Potts/PA)

By Andy Hampson, PA

Pep Guardiola is confident his Manchester City players will give every “last drop of energy” in pursuit of Premier League and European glory.

The Spaniard’s assertion comes after recently admitting his squad were in “big trouble” in terms of injuries heading into the season’s decisive phase.

Kyle Walker, Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan all suffered knocks against Atletico Madrid last week and missed the FA Cup semi-final loss to Liverpool.

De Bruyne and Gundogan have since returned but Walker is still sidelined and has now been joined in the treatment room by fellow defenders John Stones and Nathan Ake.

With Joao Cancelo suspended for Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid, Guardiola could have defensive issues if those injured do not prove their fitness.

Yet with the finishing line in sight in both competitions, the Spaniard is confident those who do play can find more in the tank.

He said: “We are who we are and are going to go until the last drop of energy in our bodies and minds. I’m pretty sure of that.

“The only thing (you ask) is to have the players fit, to have 17 or 18 players available and right now we don’t have it, and I don’t know how much we will be able to.

Joao Cancelo is suspended for next week’s clash against Real Madrid (Peter Byrne/PA)

“But sometimes, when that happens, the 13 or 14 players we have make extra. From my experience they make an extra step.

“You’re not thinking about anything else. They give extra and when you give extra it helps you to win games.

“We have problems in many important positions and you have to adapt. Now we suffer a lot.

“But when we arrive with one month left and the players know we are in trouble, when one winger has to play central defender, he will do it. He’s focused because he knows we are getting so close to the titles and they will do it well.”

City host Watford on Saturday hoping to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points ahead of rivals Liverpool’s derby against Everton on Sunday.

Kyle Walker has missed City’s last two games with an ankle injury (Nick Potts/PA)

Guardiola insists this match is so important to his side he has not yet had much time to think about next week’s glamour tie against Real.

He said: “I have had few, few thoughts about Madrid. Brighton (on Wednesday) and Watford were so important.

“Tomorrow at 5pm I will start to watch them.”

Walker is nearing a return from his ankle injury but, given fellow full-back Cancelo’s European ban, will not be risked against the Hornets.

Guardiola said: “Kyle will not be ready for tomorrow but he’s much, much better. We’ll see on Tuesday if he has time.”

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