Men's Team

Guardiola salutes ‘exceptional’ Ake

Pep Guardiola declared Nathan Ake an ‘exceptional person’ as he lauded the defender’s exemplary attitude.

The 27-year-old has made 23 appearances this season, and has delivered a string of impressive performances in recent weeks.

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The centre-back helped City keep what proved to be crucial clean sheet in our Champions League quarter-final first leg victory over Atletico Madrid and came off the bench to preserve our aggregate lead in the return fixture's frantic finale.

Guardiola says the Dutchman is someone he can rely on and has been particularly impressed with how he strives to help the team, even in periods when he has been left out of the starting XI. 

“He is so reliable,” said the boss at his press conference ahead of City's game against Brighton and Hove Albion.

“Especially when you behave in your life like he does, always you will play good.

“In the bad phases he is always helping. When he doesn’t get the minutes he deserves and then gets the minutes, he's thinking about the other ones and has done well.

“He is an exceptional person. His mother and father who passed away should be so proud.”

“The older I get, the more aware of this kind of behaviour I am. Your life is better when you behave like this.”

After two consecutive cup games, City’s attentions return to the small matter of the Premier League title race on Wednesday.

Guardiola’s men will be looking to bounce back from our FA Cup semi-final defeat to Liverpool with victory over Brighton, who visit the Etihad Stadium 24 hours after Jurgen Klopp’s side host Manchester United.

With only one point separating the top two, every game between now and the end of the season carries great significance and Guardiola says he is relishing the challenge of trying to guide the Club to domestic and continental glory.

“I love this,” he added.

“I want to play semi-finals of the FA Cup and the Champions league. Knowing the problem, we had at times this season, I am so satisfied.

“We analyse and remember what we are as a team and we go forward.

“The challenge is the same, like last two weeks. We are going to play every game like a final to get an opportunity to play another one.

“We will fight until the end and try to get results.”

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