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Guardiola: I trust my players to be ready

THE BOSS: Pep discusses the fitness of his squad as the new Premier League season approaches

THE BOSS: Pep discusses the fitness of his squad as the new Premier League season approaches

Pep Guardiola trusts his players will be in good physical condition for our first Premier League game of the new season.

City travel to West Ham on Saturday lunch time as our attempt to win three titles in succession gets under way.

With another packed summer schedule that saw our players involved in the UEFA Nations League, the Copa America and the African Cup of Nations, a number of first-team stars have only recently returned to the CFA.

But Guardiola says modern-day players are so dedicated to their profession and driven by a desire to earn a starting place in the side that they make sure they are in prime condition when returning from their holidays.

“Today, the players are so professional,” he said. “Even on holiday they take care of themselves really well.

“They know the competition is not just outside but inside the locker room - they have to fight to take a position in the team.

“That’s why they are so professional. Last season, before the Community Shield, we had just one week of preparation with most of the players and they competed.

“Today, you can trust the players.”

WATCH: Liverpool v City: Community Shield highlights

READ: Gundogan: Why August schedule can help City

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City will be looking to replicate the fast start we made last season when we defeated Arsenal at the Emirates on the opening day of the season.

It was a fine performance and one that set the tone for the Fourmidables campaign that followed.

Guardiola believes players having a clear understanding of the Club’s philosophy will be more important than physical fitness if we are to make another positive start. 

“Most players have three weeks holiday - that’s enough,” he said.

“When I was a footballer, in the early years the preparation was incredibly tough. It was running for six or seven weeks.

“We realised that now players can reach the high fitness level - not at the beginning, but step-by-step they can get there quickly.

“I think your physical condition improves when you are training every week.

"Football is not a physical condition. Its understanding the way we want to play on the pitch. That makes the difference.”

WINNERS: City lifted the first silverware of the season on Sunday with a shootout win over Liverpool



How the Community Shield was won

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FOCUSED: Ilkay Gundogan wants City to capitalise on increased training time in August.

Ilkay Gundogan says Manchester City must take advantage of the August fixture schedule to ensure we hit top form once the Champions League and Carabao Cup begin in September.

The midfielder is eyeing a fast start after our Community Shield victory.