Men's Team

Pep: City to take it one game at a time

PRESS CONFERENCE: Pep Guardiola chats to journalists before Saturday's game with Leicester.
Pep Guardiola says he will continue to carefully manage his Manchester City squad as the club steps up its challenge for success on four fronts.

Saturday's latest Premier League clash at home to Leicester is then followed by Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg tie away to Basle in Switzerland

City then resume FA Cup action with a fifth-round tie away at Wigan at week on Monday before February ends at Wembley with the Carabao Cup final against Arsenal. 

It's a demanding schedule but the boss said there would be no change in the way he oversees the squad.

"There are four different competitions to play this month – the Premier League, the Champions League, the FA Cup and Carabao Cup - but we will manage it the same way as we have done it until now, thinking game by game," said Pep.

"Now we have tomorrow (Leicester), three days later the Champions League, then five days (FA Cup fifth round at Wigan), and then five days for the final (Carabao Cup v Arsenal). 

"We will see day by day how the players feel. Some players are not fit. Others will come back. 

"This season we have done it that way and we are going to continue." 

Following last weekend's 1-1 draw away at Burnley, Pep handed the entire first-team squad and backroom staff three days' rest and recuperation following a punishing run of fixtures

And with at least three months of the season still to run and City still involved in all four competitions, Pep believes the opportunity to take a mini-break at this stage of the season could prove to be invaluable. 

Asked if the rest was important, Pep said: "We will see. If we win, good, if we don’t win, not.  

"We have had a lot of games since August, with just one midweek off, so we needed it. We made three good training sessions and then we come back. 

"We love to play football but when you play every three days in three or four competitions, sometimes a break is good for everybody because you come back stronger. 

"Everybody (had a rest). The physios, chef...everybody."

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