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‘We adapt’: Guardiola reflects on fixture schedule

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City are constantly adapting to the changing demands of our fixture schedule.

Last season, City played three games a week for much of the campaign as we reached the final of the Carabao Cup and Champions League and the last four of the FA Cup.

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Guardiola’s men were involved in nine matches in January 2021, but, having been knocked out of the League Cup by West Ham United in October, will play five games fewer in the opening month of 2022.

It means the defending champions have enjoyed longer periods between fixtures, something the City boss says benefits his players both in terms of relaxation and preparation.

“We adapt. We adjust,” he said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton.

“Sometimes in the last four years 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 and train and focus on what we have to do when we are here.

“We spend time talking about the game we have ahead of us tomorrow.

“It is what it is. I like to play every three or four days but sometimes we have a long week.

“In previous seasons we won four Carabao Cups in a row, so we arrived in this period like Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham have done [now]. We have done it for four years.

“Unfortunately, this season we went out to West Ham. We played a decent game but went out on penalties.

“For that reason, we have what the other teams had in the previous season.”

Watch the full press conference in the video above.

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