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Guardiola hails “incredible” David Silva

SKIPPER: El Mago in action at Rodney Parade.

SKIPPER: El Mago in action at Rodney Parade.

Pep Guardiola heaped praise on David Silva after Manchester City’s 4-1 win away at Newport County in the FA Cup.

The Spaniard produced a masterful performance on a challenging surface to orchestrate a fine victory that saw us book a place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Guardiola was impressed with Silva’s enthusiasm, likening him to an enthusiastic teenager.

"Incredible,” Guardiola said when asked to describe his performance.“33 years old, fight, win duels. Really, really good.

“David is a fantastic player. He played here at a League Two club like an 18-year-old, like Phil Foden.”

READ: Match Report | Newport 1-4 City

READ: When is the draw for the FA Cup quarter-final? 

Having struggled to impose our possession game on Newport in the opening 45 minutes, City were far superior after the break, scoring four second-half goals to move through to the last eight with something to spare. 

The state of the pitch caused City problems during the first half, as did Newport's long throw routine, with Ederson called upon to make a fine stop at 0-0. 

Guardiola admits his team struggled to adapt initially, but after some half-time tactical changes he believes they were much improved. 

"Yeah we adjust some movements [at half-time]," he said.

"In the opening mins always difficult to adapt to this stadium and pitch. Throw ins and long balls, with [Jamille] Matt they win almost all the balls.

"But after the goal from Leroy [Sane] we were more precise and in the second half we make an incredible performance."

Attention now turns to the Champions League, with City preparing to face Schalke in the last-16 first-leg tie on Wednesday. 

And that is followed by Sunday's Carabao Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley. 

Guardiola says the demands of four competitions should be embraced and promised more tactical variation to deal with the challenges lie in wait. 

"Today we spoke about that," he said. "We are in all four and we accept every challenge.

"Today we play League Two and then we go to Champions League. We have to adapt, change mentality, change the way we play.

"We now need to make a big performance in Champions League. We prepare well, game by game, and we will see what is our end point.

"What we have done this season and last is go game by game and try to win.

"The way we play Chelsea home is different to here. Now we go to biggest stage, Champions League, and we will see in May and June.

"But it’s important in February to be here, in four competitions.

"Delighted, thank you, congratulations to the players, now we prepare for our trip to Germany."

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