Mens Team

Guardiola: Rotation not rest is key for City

Guardiola: Rotation not rest is key for City
Pep Guardiola says rotation rather than rest will be the guiding principle as City gear up for a decisive potential final six weeks of the season.

Saturday's latest Premier League assignment away at Brighton comes in the midst of a punishing routine which will have seen us play eight games in the last 23 days, with the threat of injuries ever present.

But despite huge forthcoming games against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final and Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16, the City boss said he would not be resting key personnel in the remaining Premier League schedule.

Instead, Guardiola reiterated he would carry on rotating his squad in order to keep players as fresh as possible – and to look to maintain positive momentum.

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Asked at his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to the AMEX Stadium whether the brief scare when Kevin De Bruyne went down in pain at the end of our 5-0 win over Newcastle in midweek had made him want to rest certain players, Guardiola was unequivocal in his response.

“I rotate the team a lot. The last away game at Southampton Kevin didn't play, then he came back at an incredible level in the Newcastle game,” the City manager asserted.

“I try all the players to play a lot of minutes when we come back (from lockdown).

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“Sometimes the players who play more regularly are in better condition with their timing.

“But before Arsenal it’s important we keep momentum and rhythm and the way we play.

“I hope no-one gets injured, but you can't control that.”

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The manager also spoke about the contribution of Gabriel Jesus who registered his first goal since the resumption of action in Wednesday’s impressive 5-0 win over the Magpies.

With Sergio Aguero out injured, there’s even greater scrutiny on the Brazilian striker who, against the Magpies, again impressed with his work rate and endeavour as well as his goal.

For his part, Guardiola said the 23-year-old also understood the pressure and expectation that comes with leading the line at City.

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“Gabriel has to live with pressure, what’s important is what he does when he misses, he doesn't hide - he tries again and again,” the boss pointed out.

“I have said many times he wants to score but we don't judge him just for this. A lot of the goals we have scored is because of Gabriel’s movements.

“He has to live with this pressure as he is a striker and has to score goals.

“This is normal at big clubs all around world.”

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