Men's Team

Guardiola heaps praise on patient Stones

Guardiola heaps praise on patient Stones
Pep Guardiola says John Stones will get opportunities to play, despite not playing for City so far this season.

The England defender won his 53rd cap in midweek and also scored in the 1-1 draw with Hungary, leading to Guardiola being asked whether he will feature in Saturday’s game at home to Burnley, which is part of the No Room For Racism batch of Premier League matches.

“We will decide this afternoon what is going to happen,” said Pep.

“John Stones was so important for us last season he was playing incredibly well next to Ruben [Dias].

“But at the start of this season, Aymeric Laporte played so well alongside Ruben and it's fair to let him play.

“John is an exceptional guy; he always knows the situation and he is fighting.

“We extended his contract for the next years and he will be so important for us.

Aymeric earned the minutes on the pitch. Always I give opportunities to the players, all the time.

“Some play more, it’s normal, but they all play. That's the moment to show how good they are.

“I want to play all but I can only play 11. If they want more, I cannot assure them.

“Not John, not Ruben, not Kevin [De Bruyne], not Phil [Foden]. This is the reality at the top clubs. It’s difficult to take decision but it is what it is.

“There is no alternative. The way is to train harder. And when you play, which will happen, show you were right and I should have selected you.

“This is the only thing I knew as a football player and that I know as a manager, how you have to react to these situations.”

Asked how he dealt with being left out occasionally during his playing career, Pep smiled: “I was an exceptional player. I was never on the bench. Always I was playing. I was so good. I am sorry!

“When it happened, football educated me so well to say when you don't play, you have to do it better and fight more.

“If we lose and understand the other is better, I shake hands and move on.

“If I didn't get selected, the manager has other thoughts, and I was respectful of his decision and have to work harder and convince him to play me.

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“Some players accept more - like John for example, who is always playing good.

“Some players suffer more. Here and at all clubs around the world. You have to fight and at the end there is a transfer window, and you have to decide what you want to do.

“For anyone who doesn’t play, they have to accept my decision.

“I am the manager. I don't take decision for the benefit of the player - I think the best for the team to win games.

“That's' why we are here, to make out fans, owners, bosses happy and proud of what we do. It’s the only solution to moving forward.” 

City v Burnley 

We will have full coverage of Saturday’s game right here on ManCity.com and on the official Man City app.

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Live text updates will begin in our Matchday Centre at 13:00 (UK).

Our Matchday Live show gets under way just before 14:00 (UK), with Shaun Goater and Trevor Sinclair joining us the studio.

Andy Morrison will be providing expert co-commentary alongside Ali Mann for those who wish to have an audio accompaniment with the game. 

And CITY+ subscribers can watch a full 90-minute replay of the match from midnight.

CITY+ subscribers can also watch live coverage of our EDS side as they take on Leicester at 19:30 (UK). 

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