Men's Team

Guardiola hoping fresher squad can make final push

Guardiola hoping fresher squad can make final push
Pep Guardiola believes resting tired legs against Liverpool will benefit his players in the games that remain.

City know seven Premier League wins would guarantee yet another title and Guardiola says the risks of playing players at the weekend who were exhausted or lacking match fitness could have proved costly.

The City boss resisted the temptation to play all his first team regulars against Liverpool, but admits it was part out of necessity and part down to choice.

"When you have all the squad, it's easier to handle (the fixture congestion),” said Guardiola.

“But without Ruben for example, Aymer played all of the minutes and was so tired in the last game in Madrid because he’s a human being.

“We need our people to come back to face the situation.

“But the players in the second half against Liverpool, you could say they were sad or tired - but how did they react?


“This is our team for a long time, it doesn’t matter, we fight and we do it.

“But the truth is the last three semi-finals of the FA Cup we have played here against Arsenal, Chelsea, today, in the first half were always bad, it happened against Mikel Arteta, Thomas Tuchel’s teams,

“I don’t know, we spoke about that and we could not do it on Saturday.

“It’s quite similar, we came from Dortmund last year and this year Madrid.

“The last three days (before the semi-final) we travelled and always the energy you spend in those situations. I always feel bad during the season when I don’t let the players play.

“When I make a selection, I’m always thinking about the players I don’t allow to play, so when I have the chance to do it I want to do it.

“Because at the end who knows? If you play with other players do you win?

“I thought after Atletico and I spoke to the physios, doctors and my staff and said what the best was and I’m happy to give minutes to the players who normally haven’t played much.

“I know the players and I know what came from Madrid,

“I could not do anything else and was satisfied. I trust the players and in the second half they showed it.”