Men's Team

Guardiola will be 'connected' for Swindon FA Cup trip, says Borrell

Rodolfo Borrell says Pep Guardiola will remain ‘connected’ despite the City boss having to miss Friday’s FA Cup third round tie at Swindon after testing positive for COVID-19.

All told, 21 members of City’s first team squad along with coaches and backroom staff are having to self-isolate after a slew of positive tests.

With assistant coach Juanma Lillo also self-isolating, it means fellow assistant coach Borrell will oversee preparations and planning in person at the County Ground for the tie against our League Two opponents.

However, asked at Thursday’s pre-match press conference if Guardiola would be in position to pass on instructions from home, Borrell revealed that the manager would remain in close contact both with him and the rest of the coaching staff.

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“Obviously, the manager is going to be connected but we've already discussed about the tactics and everything that we have to try to be doing during the game,” Borrell revealed.

“During the game it might change but I have been working with him (Pep) for seven years now and we think very alike.

“Again, I’ll take my decisions, but the manager is going to be connected and like any other time it’ll be between all of us.

“This is not about one thing and the guy at front, now it’s me but we’re all connected with Pep and Juanma all the time.

“We make decisions together, the guy is Pep and now it has to be me at the front but it’s the work of many people.”

With seven members of the first team squad having been required to self-isolate over the past few days, Borrell said the situation regarding positive tests was evolving all the time.

But despite the impact on the squad - and the wait for results from regular daily testing - Borrell insisted that City were anxious to try and fulfil Friday night’s fixture.

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“We are getting tested every day. The last time was this morning (Thursday) - we had a lateral flow test and a PCR test,” the Spaniard added.

“Obviously, the lateral flow stayed negative but the PCR test, we need to wait between 12 and 24 hours and until tomorrow or until midnight tonight (for the result). Sometimes they come back late at night, sometimes early morning.

“We will take it as it comes.

“At this moment we have a squad and we want to play the game and to keep playing as many as possible until, if unfortunately we can’t fill the team, we will have to think about postponement.

“But at this moment in time we’re ready to play the game.”

Looking further ahead, asked if there was a hope the situation regarding the high number of positive tests would have eased by the time of our Premier League clash at home to Chelsea a week on Saturday, Borrell pointed to the sheer unpredictability of the current situation.

“Again we don’t know, it’s unpredictable. Two days ago we had five (positive tests), yesterday three,” Borrell pointed out.

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“Every time we’re less and less people, but still a lot don’t have it and it’s unpredictable because we have people with the first and second variant.

“It’s not a virus that when you have it once you won’t get it again, (there are) no guarantees.

“It’s unexpected what will happen tomorrow and next week even less so.”

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