Guardiola plays down talk of new City contract

Dean Simpson
March 12, 2018

Manchester City's Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph are recovering well from their injuries and face fitness tests, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.

It came just three days after they had broken the Premier League record against Chelsea with 902 passes, but City scored just once against the Londoners and created little in either of the two games.

City's two Monday fixtures so far this season have brought significant disappointment for the City manager; they dropped their only home league points to date as Everton drew at the Etihad Stadium in August, and saw their hopes of an unprecedented quadruple ended last month when League One promotion candidates Wigan knocked them out of the FA Cup.

He missed Wednesday's 2-1 UEFA Champions League last 16 second leg defeat by Swiss side Basel with a muscle injury.

"I think the results of the last games, it doesn't matter if in the Champions League, Premier League or other competitions because they were quite good, so a lot of people try to see us at the same level as Barca, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, but we still feel like we need to compete with them. Fernandinho and Sterling are much better", Pep said. When the weekend is over, they are like: "'The weekend is over, there are no more games.' But we have to play". "The players are off today, so I don't know the exact situation". They also have a chance to become the first team to break the 100-points barrier in the history of the English top flight.

"Everyone is thinking about when we will win the title".

Guardiola's second season in England has proved a resounding success, with City winning the EFL Cup and being on the verge of clinching the league title as well as progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

"You have to be focused because Stoke away is always complicated".

Paul Lambert's Stoke are involved in a fight for survival, sitting in the relegation zone, and Pep foresees a hard game on Monday. City thrashed the Potters 7-2 when they met earlier in the campaign but Guardiola is not thrilled about the prospect of a trip to the bet365 Stadium on a Monday night.

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