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“We cannot train!” — Pep Guardiola bemoans unprecedented fixture pileup



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Pep Guardiola has delivered a harsh verdict on training players during the over-crowded fixture list.

Manchester City have had their fair share of injuries in the 2023/24 campaign, as Kevin De Bruyne is out long term, while John Stones, Mateo Kovacic, and Matheus Nunes were all missing from the Blues’ 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Saturday.

Though November is all but completed, City will still play ten more games before the new year, putting an unprecedented level of physical stress on the players. Injuries have been a major issue across European football in recent weeks, and Manchester City are not immune.

Speaking in a recent press conference, City boss Pep Guardiola revealed whether or not he would have to adapt his side’s training habits due to the ferocious schedule.

“In seven years, I don’t train,” Guardiola said. “Maximum 30 minutes, 35 minutes – I don’t train.

“They started the pre-season two weeks before, do you know we had 15 days to have to train because we played the FA Cup final, and we played in the final of the Champions League, they played 15 days, with the new players.

“The new players they played one training session in tactics… Jurgen (Klopp), I’m pretty sure they have the same situation.”

“10, 15, 20 minutes our process with the ball, and yesterday 10 minutes defensive and until Tuesday it will be 10 minutes on the pitch, moving in that way, and that’s all! We cannot train!

“Because if you train, we don’t have players for the next game.

“Because we learned from the past from seven, eight years, it’s just to understand what you have to do, the places that we have to move, the press in that position and who jumps in that right side or left side, this is what we absolutely do this month, that’s for sure.”

The Premier League champions have a thinner squad than most this season, naming just eight players to the bench against Liverpool at the weekend, two of which were goalkeepers.

The schedule does not look any lighter in the coming days. Manchester City will face off with Group G rivals RB Leipzig in the Champions League Tuesday evening before squaring off with Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa in the Premier League, all in the span of 10 days.