📣 Furious Guardiola savages CL plans ahead of City's cup final tilt

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Padraig Whelan

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Pep Guardiola addressed the media on Friday afternoon ahead of Man City’s EFL Cup final against Tottenham this weekend.

Manchester City 1
Tottenham 0
Full time

And the Cityzens boss was in fiery form …

On CL reform plans

“Every time we speak about it to UEFA, they say ‘we take note’ but after that, more games. Then a new competition. Maybe we can find 400 days a year.

“It’s like an actor or actress in a theatre going three times a day – they like to make a good performance but three times a day is too much. There will be more injuries. These guys finish an incredibly tough season, six days break, then go to the national teams.

“The national managers want them to train, when they’re finished a week off then come back for pre-season tours to Europe or Asia or America.

Then the Community Shield if we qualify. The players love to play, but sometimes will get injured. UEFA knows it, but don’t care. We are going to play, we are lucky we’re in the Champions League next season. It’s a lot, honestly, we didn’t have a midweek off.

“I can’t train them, just to handle the team as sharp as possible. I cannot train anything, just videos, remember what you have to do. You have no pre-season to learn principles. As a manager, yes international break, but not the players.

“The people who produce the calendar to recover players, they do the opposite because it’s their business. I’m not the guy to tell them. If they decide 10 more games, then 10 more games. The show must go on. My business is to prepare the players but something has to change.”

On Agüero and De Bruyne

“Both trained today. Today was the first training session in two weeks.

“Tomorrow we have the last session and then we’ll decide [on Agüero] but they trained and are ready.”

On taking EFL Cup seriously

“Definitely, it’s a final. The Champions League is close, the Premier League is not over. The two other competitions we have an eye on, Tottenham it will be first title in years and their commitment will be extraordinary as will their quality.

“Of course it’s a final. Once we are there, every player wants to win and we’re not an exception. When we start we say many times, every game must be taken seriously.

“At the start of the season it’s perfect to rotate and is over quickly, this season you play in the middle of the important part of the season. I would say the Premier League is the first title of the season, then the Champions League to qualify is the second [objective]. The third is Europe, then FA Cup, then after Carabao.”

On Super League distraction

“The Villa game showed we were ready and we’ll be ready on Sunday. The new manager Ryan, we looked at them against Southampton, the way they play. When it happens, we’ll focus on what we have to do.”