Mens Team

Guardiola: Champions overcome fatigue

FITTING TRIBUTE: Pep Guardiola salutes the City fans wearing a red and black scarf in honour of Bernard Halford
Pep Guardiola has challenged his players to overcome tiredness and toil, as City look to finish the season with a clean sweep of silverware.

The Premier League Champions travel to Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday evening in the mouth-watering first leg of the Champions League quarter-final clash, having booked our place in the FA Cup Final on Saturday evening with a 1-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at Wembley.

City’s April schedule is packed with key games, as Guardiola’s men seek to progress in all three remaining competitions.

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While the FA Cup Finalists have little time to recover from Saturday’s victory, Spurs have enjoyed almost a week of preparation for the European encounter - but Guardiola admits our hectic period is simply the price of success.

“Of course, it’s an advantage (for Tottenham) but to fight for everything, you have to overcome that,” the Catalan boss stated.

“Spurs have had six days to prepare and we have had two-and-a-half, but when you play this amount of games and win the Carabao Cup, it’s normal.

“If we were out of the Cup, we would have had more days. Big Clubs don’t complain about these situations.

“We are enjoying it a lot. We have already succeeded – it’s an incredible season for us.

“I know we will be judged on the titles we win but this season already is incredible. Of course, we want it to continue and it’s good for us to play in Finals.

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“I’ve said many times in press conferences that it’s almost impossible [to win the Quadruple]. We are surviving and we will see.

“Believe me, I am not focusing on it. We will prepare well for the next game in a marvellous stadium, which Daniel Levy built, and we will see.

“If and when we lose, I will say to the players that they are my heroes. It’s incredible what they have done so far.”

City are in exceptional form, heading into the tie in North London, winning 22 of our last 23 games in all competitions – a feat that pleases Guardiola, but one he is not settling for.

“It’s not bad!” he said. “If we want to be in contention for the competitions, we have to make these kind of numbers.

“It’s really good, but we don’t have time to tell ourselves how good we are!

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“We just don’t drink any alcohol; we eat well, train and prepare for Spurs.

“[Against Brighton], it was tough for so many reasons and we overcame it. We weren’t excellent – we know it.

“We defended more balls in our box and I know the reason why… but we overcame it.”

Guardiola also reserved praise for Belgian maestro Kevin De Bruyne, who continued his return from injury by claiming a superb assist at Wembley for the matchwinner.

The playmaker delivered a glorious cross into Gabriel Jesus’ path for the opener with 193 seconds on the clock and Guardiola has been impressed with the midfielder’s contribution since his return.

“In the last three games, he was outstanding,” Guardiola hailed. “Really good.”

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