Mens Team

Guardiola: Players need time to reach top level

Pep Guardiola says it will take time for his players to be able to perform at a high level for an entire 90-minutes.

The Manchester City boss admitted after the 1-0 win over Arsenal that he knows his team is yet to hit top form, but feels that will change when the injury situation improves and players can enjoy an extended run of games.


Kevin De Bruyne, Benjamin Mendy and Aymeric Laporte are the latest trio to be ruled out and Guardiola believes his team are feeling the effects of a shorter pre-season.

“I think it will be when everyone is back and games, games, games means there will be more time to sustain our game,” Guardiola said in response to being asked when he thinks his players will be ready to deliver a 90-minute performances.

“The only problem we have, and it is the same for many, many teams, is a lack of preparation.

“We started our preparation without four, five or six important players. They are not machines, they are human beings and need time to get the condition.”

Victory over Arsenal saw City return to winning ways in the Premier League after a draw and a defeat in the previous two outings against Leeds and Leicester City.

It was a welcome result ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League game against Porto and the boss believes it was important to get into good habits after a stuttered start to the campaign.

“It was important to win for our preparation for the Champions League and after West Ham,” he added.

“To start the routine of winning games is important.”

The Porto clash kicks-off a demanding period in which City will play six games in two-and-a-half weeks before the November international break.

It will require significant physical effort from our injury-hit squad, but Guardiola is adamant his players’ mentality will also be crucial and is hoping to see more of what he witnessed against Arsenal.

“We need players to come back in the best condition and for that we need time,” he said.

“But at the same time, the mind can always control your body. Against Arsenal, we had the willing to make effort after effort. They did really well.”

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