Pep Guardiola has lifted the lid on the key supportive role that his backroom staff have played during a busy fixture period.

City come into Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at Crystal Palace just three days after a potentially crucial 2-1 Champions League semi-final first leg victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

Attentions then turn swiftly back to our European commitments, as we aim to finish the job against the French champions on Tuesday and reach a maiden Champions League final.

And with the fixture calendar condensed due to last season’s curtailed finish, City have had no more than four days’ rest between matches in all but two weeks since the turn of the year.

Guardiola revealed that it can be difficult to take a step back and assess the team’s progress with the games continually coming thick and fast.

However, the City boss highlighted the crucial role his coaching staff play in reassuring and supporting him in these unprecedented times, including a team meeting that took place this afternoon.

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“It’s a lot of games we know it, but the problem is it’s a short amount of time, you cannot enjoy one game - you think only of the next one,” Guardiola conceded.

“I love my job and am fortunate to do it but sometimes you can’t take a break and analyse what’s going on.

“That’s why my backroom staff today, my assistants like Rodolfo (Borrell), Juanma (Lillo), were so important.

“Because sometimes they are more cold to analyse what is going to happen, and even in the bad moments, Juanma and Rodolfo say: ‘We are going in a good direction’.


“When you play every three days you can’t see everything clearly, because with travel and organising the team, whatever, this is the most difficult thing when you play a lot of games.

“It always happened at Barcelona and Bayern Munich but the difference is the lockdown, our lives have changed completely, and it’s in a short time, that makes this season so special.

“For everyone, winning one title already and being close to another one and then play on Tuesday to reach another final. It’s been so far exceptional.”

Irrespective of tired legs, the players will travel to Selhurst Park with a spring in their step knowing that victory, depending on results elsewhere across the weekend, could secure a third Premier League title in four seasons by Sunday evening.

Pep Guardiola’s men can also take inspiration from Wednesday’s impressive Champions League display against PSG, where second half goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez earned a memorable and deserved 2-1 victory.

But the boss passionately called for his team to be judged over the course of an entire season rather than on one particular match, regardless of the opponent or occasion.

He said: “What the players have done for our club, it’s impossible, you can win, lose, draw in the last moments but in football, that’s life.

“Do you know why I am a genius today? Because Riyad shot a ball that passed between two hips and scored a goal, that’s why, the margin to win or not was hips open.

“It’s impossible that the ball goes through, but after Mauricio Pochettino is not a good manager and I am a good manager, no, come on.

“That’s why the consistency of being there over ten months is the most important.

“Every year we are in the Champions League, this is the important thing, next season we will be there again with the elite clubs because we deserve it on the pitch.

“That’s the most important prize and title.”