| 9.2°C Dublin

Pep Guardiola will keep rotating because his Man City players are ‘not machines’

The City boss, who made six changes against Leicester, insists City would not be competing for a quadruple without player rotation.

Close

Pep Guardiola made six changes for Manchester City’s 2-0 win at Leicester in order to avoid player burnout (Rui Vieira/PA)

Pep Guardiola made six changes for Manchester City’s 2-0 win at Leicester in order to avoid player burnout (Rui Vieira/PA)

Pep Guardiola made six changes for Manchester City’s 2-0 win at Leicester in order to avoid player burnout (Rui Vieira/PA)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola hit out at UEFA and FIFA as he launched a passionate defence of his rotation policy.

The Etihad manager insists he needs to keep changing his side to ensure they avoid burnout and can battle for the quadruple.

The City boss kept John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan and Joao Cancelo on the bench while Raheem Sterling played less than 30 minutes and Phil Foden made a two-minute cameo in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Leicester.

Guardiola made six changes at the King Power Stadium as the Premier League leaders moved closer to regaining the title – thanks to goals from Benjamin Mendy and Gabriel Jesus – and insisted he is forced to keep rotating.

If you don't rotate you don't compete in all competitionsPep Guardiola

“They are human beings, they are not machines,” said Guardiola.

“I know the players some of them are upset all the time because they want to play every day but this is not possible.

“To compete in all competitions in this year without spectators, in the shortest competition ever, (if) you don’t rotate you don’t compete in all competitions and you will not be in the position we are in now.

“Of course they could play, they have an incredible mentality but they need rest. UEFA and FIFA killed the players because it’s too much. We haven’t had one midweek off since we started, not even one.

“There is no player who can sustain (this), not just physically but mentally to be ready every day to compete against opponents to win the game. It’s impossible.

Close

Raheem Sterling appeared as a second-half substitute for Manchester City after he, and England team-mates John Stones and Phil Foden, started on the bench at Leicester.

Raheem Sterling appeared as a second-half substitute for Manchester City after he, and England team-mates John Stones and Phil Foden, started on the bench at Leicester.

Raheem Sterling appeared as a second-half substitute for Manchester City after he, and England team-mates John Stones and Phil Foden, started on the bench at Leicester.

“I rotate I’m a genius, ‘well done Pep’ but when we lose and I rotate people say ‘why rotate? You have to play the players like normal’. But it’s unsustainable.

“The next game we are going to play fresh legs and against Leeds, more than ever, fresh legs.”

City host Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League quarter final on Tuesday before welcoming Leeds to the Etihad on Saturday.

Dortmund are fifth in the Bundesliga, seven points adrift of the top four after a 2-1 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, but Guardiola warned against underestimating the Germans.

He said: “If one person in Manchester knows Borussia Dortmund it’s me. The culture of this club, the way they play and I will not find one single player at Borussia Dortmund without quality.

“Maybe they didn’t find the consistency in the Bundesliga but in one or two games they are able to do everything.

“I have incredible respect for what Borussia Dortmund have done. I was in Germany for three years and I know their quality.

“The quality is there, the players don’t know it because we haven’t spoken about Dortmund yet. We are going to prepare for the game like we prepared for Saturday, what they do, what are their strong points, weak points.”

Online Editors


Top Videos





Privacy