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Man City players going ‘in the fridge’ to chill after busy week – Pep Guardiola

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Apr 2024

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Pep Guardiola feels his Manchester City players will need to cool off “in the fridge” after their exertions of the past few days.

City responded to last Wednesday’s draining penalty shootout loss to Real Madrid by digging in for a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Chelsea in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday.

The win, secured by a late goal from Bernardo Silva, maintained their hope of defending the domestic double but Guardiola later hit out at the scheduling of the fixture.

The City boss felt his players should have been allowed more rest after their European game and he now intends to give them a break before they return to Premier League action at Brighton on Thursday.

“In the fridge for two days,” said Guardiola when asked what his plans were for his squad ahead of the trip to the Amex Stadium.

“Don’t see each other, stay at home with your families. Try to rest, nothing special.

“Two days to prepare for Brighton and (Nottingham) Forest. One game at a time.”

Guardiola clarified comments after the game suggesting he could boycott media duties over the issue.

The Spaniard insisted he meant to say he would not have time to go above and beyond the usual obligations.

“No, it’s Gary Lineker – come on!” he said, in reference to the host of Saturday’s BBC TV coverage.

“If they ask for a photoshoot for the broadcasters, I’ll say no I’m busy, I don’t have time. It’s a joke for the future.

“I always attend the media because I represent this institution. I’ve always done it and will always do it, but if they ask for extra then I don’t have time.

“If you put me in a game every three days then the managers have a lot to do.”

Guardiola also praised the character of Silva, who had been one of two City players to miss in the penalties in the defeat by Real. The Portuguese had also been close to being substituted shortly before scoring his 84th-minute winner.

He said: “Always life gives you a second chance and he took it.

“I was thinking of changing it and put Oscar (Bobb) on the right but, after the goal, Bernardo is so intelligent to keep the ball. So intuitive. In that moment I could not change him.

“He was so tired but Bernardo has this special intelligence. I’m so happy, he deserves the best. They weren’t easy days for him.”

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