Pep Guardiola says he is delighted with the fitness of his players.

The City squad returned to training last week for the first time since the global COVID-19 health pandemic saw football across the world halted in mid-March.

But with the UK government giving the green light for sport to take its first tentative steps back to normality, the players returned to the CFA for testing and training on Saturday.

The sessions thus far have been in small groups – with contact between players still prohibited – but Guardiola has seen enough to know his squad have done everything they can to maintain their fitness levels throughout their time at home.

And the boss also sent a message of thanks to all the frontline medical workers, who he says have provided selfless service throughout the crisis for which we should all be grateful.

“Yeah, really good,” he said when asked about the condition of his players.

“I think they were looking forward to coming back and to train again and do what they like.

“They came back perfectly.

“We follow the rules, the protocol. We have to. That’s the most important thing. We don’t do anything special.

“The special ones are the doctors, nurses, scientists, cleaners – they put their own lives at risk to save ours.

“When it’s a special situation around the world, you have to adapt.”

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WATCH: Guardiola urges fans to continue following COVID-19 advice

Meanwhile, the boss sent a message to the City fans urging them to continue following scientific advice as the world continues to battle COVID-19.

Supporters across the world have been without the game for a significant period, with the German Bundesliga the only major European league to return behind closed doors.

But Guardiola says in these extraordinary times we must be patient and stick to the rules in order to minimise the effects of the virus.

“Well I think all the fans around the world are waiting to watch football,” he said.

“We want to come back but now the priority is other things. It’s still stay safe, be careful and when everything is possible we will come back. First, I think without them, but hopefully we come back to a routine.

“But now the most important thing is to follow the instructions. If they say use a mask, stay at home, social distance…we have to do it. Because there are many, many people in the NHS who put their own lives at risk to save ours.

“It’s incredible what they have done, and we have to follow them. Now, we cannot do anything wrong.”