Guardiola responds to questions about Fernandinho’s fitness

Date published: Monday 30th September 2019 1:55 - Matthew Briggs

Pep Guardiola TEAMtalk

Man City boss Pep Guardiola says he has no concerns about playing Fernandinho at centre-back.

Guardiola’s side are hampered by defensive injuries, with John Stones and Aymeric Laporte both sidelined with the 34-year-old again filling in at centre-back in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Everton.

He in fact skippered the side at Goodison Park and it was his poor clearance that led to Everton’s goal, but Guardiola has faith in the player, who may well start his third game in 10 days against Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday night.

“If he is fit he can play (twice a week). It depends on him in terms of physical regeneration,” Guardiola said.

“We have young alternatives but he has played three games in the past.”

New boy Rodri also backed City’s squad to fill in for the injuries in the squad.

“It is not an excuse,” Rodri added. “We have enough players to fit this problem.

“We have players who can play in many positions like Fernandinho and (Oleksandr) Zinchenko. It’s a tough time for the team but it will make us stronger.”

Rodrigo insists Manchester City will not be taking Dinamo Zagreb lightly in their Champions League clash at the Etihad.

The Croatian side made a stunning start to their campaign, beating Atalanta 4-0.

“For me it was not surprising. When you arrive in the Champions League there is no bad team. You always have to be alert,” Rodri said.

“It is going to be very tough. They scored four goals so they have a lot of quality.

“The Champions League for me is the greatest tournament. All the good clubs want to fight for it. It is very tough. You have to be focused or you are out.”

Guardiola also praised the form of winger Riyah Mahrez.

 

 

“He is so important. Always the players here we want (at their) best,” Guardiola added.

“He is so clinical. Defensively his commitment is higher this season and offensively you always have the feeling something is going to happen.”

While the Spanish coach also believes his side need to make their supporters, who have had a love-hate relationship with UEFA competitions, excited by the Champions League.

“We have to seduce them. The only way to seduce them is winning games and playing good,” he said.

“The Premier League here in England is the most exciting. We make a poll and fans prefer that. But this competition is also good.”

 

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