Pep Guardiola says he will always accept whatever hand he is given.

Though City have had wretched luck with injuries this campaign and have a couple of players facing suspension, the Blues’ boss says he will never use a situation as an excuse because there is always a way through problematic periods.

Asked if he felt his team’s fortunes were somewhat trying, Pep said: “You will never hear me complain about injuries.

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“Normally, if I ever do complain about anything, it is after we have won. I will never say anything about injuries or use that reason after a defeat – if we lose, I shut my mouth.

“Obviously, I would prefer it if we were all together and everybody was available, but it is what it is.

“Against Aston Villa when it was 10 v 11, Ilkay Gundogan took a decision to go into central defence and he covered the channels behind Joao perfectly – we need those type of players in these situations.

“We have Academy players and other possible solutions in defence for Southampton and if the spirit is correct, you will find a way and be able to go to the next round.

“Whether we can sustain playing people out of position for a sustained period or against top, top teams, we don’t know.

“Nobody knows what is going to happen, but before those games, I am not going to say ‘Oh this is terrible… what a disaster.’

 

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“These things can happen in football and it is a long season – when I was Barcelona and we played Manchester United in the Champions League final, I lost three of my regular defenders – against one of the best attacks I had ever seen but it was like, ‘OK, we go there with the people we have.’

“So, why should I complain? Honestly? I wish I had Laporte and others fit, but we had John Stones back on Saturday and he did really well and was solid against a very powerful striker in Wesley.

“Yes, we have some players missing, but it’s OK – we go into the next game with the players we have and that’s OK and we will try and find the best way to go through.”

The boss also added that choosing who starts between Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero is more difficult than ever this season.

“It’s really hard, really hard,” he said. “They know they have to play well and score goals and that’s what they are doing. It is the same with Riyad and Kyle – I’m not just talking about specific positions, either – it applies to the whole squad.

“They all have to be ready – when they are needed, just be ready. They have to play like they did in the second half against Aston Villa because if they play the way they did in the first half, I would have to change the team around.”