Pep Guardiola says Manchester City must adapt to the phased return of players following their involvement in EURO 2020 and the Copa America.

With the majority of those that featured at the tournaments still on their summer breaks, City only had eight first team players available for the 2-0 friendly win over Preston North End.

Nathan Ake, Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Fernandinho, Benjamin Mendy, Riyad Mahrez and Zack Steffen all managed at least 45-minutes against the Championship outfit, with Scott Carson not involved and Guardiola acknowledged it is a unique situation.

“We have had to adapt,” he told “With just three or four players from the first team.

“Every week there are players coming. Hopefully they can come back and they can train and don’t have to rest and be isolated.

“I know we don’t have time because in 11 days we have the Community Shield.”

The absence of recognised first team players provided a host of youngsters with an opportunity against Preston, with 18-year-old Sam Edozie on target after Riyad Mahrez had put City in front with a superb 20-yard free kick.

Indeed, Guardiola made 10 changes at half-time, with Steffen the only senior player involved in the second 45 minutes, when the Academy cohort impressed against their more experienced opponents.

And, with Ake, Cancelo, Dias and Steffen only returning to training 24 hours before the game, Guardiola was satisfied with his side’s level of performance.

“Really good. Really pleased,” added the City boss.

“Just a few players from the first team, just two training sessions with us.

“Most of the players from the second team were isolating for 10 days, so an incredible lack of preparation but they did really well.”