Pep Guardiola has revealed that Ruben Dias has stepped up his comeback from injury with the City defender close to a return.

The Portuguese international has been on the sidelines since returning from the World Cup, after suffering a hamstring injury.

Guardiola was asked if there was any chance of Dias being ready for the Premier League clash with Tottenham, which comes five days after Saturday’s derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

“He’s coming back [to training] maybe today, but soon,” the boss said. “He’s been a long time injured.

“The first step is to come back and start to train, but him being back is good news for us. He’s an important figure in the locker room, for his mates when he’s playing.”

Meanwhile, Guardiola says the extraordinary midseason break for the World Cup will not be used as an excuse this season.

“I don’t use the World Cup as an excuse,” he said. “All the teams had players in the World Cup.


“The other teams rest and play like us, and if you have more players in the World Cup, it’s because we deserve it.

“Every season the teams who play in Champions League and Europa League play more minutes in the Premier League. We play all the time, the big clubs, 10 or 15 more games than the others.

“If you won in the past doing that, why should you not do it now? For the World Cup, come on. Excuses are for another place, not here.”

Watch the second part of Pep’s press conference above...