Guardiola happy with sex and the City
Pep Guardiola has told his Manchester City squad that having sex will make them better players.
He made the suggestion after playing down a claim that he had tried to restrict his squad's sexual activity since arriving at the Etihad Stadium.
Samir Nasri said this week that Guardiola had banned every City player from having sex after midnight, having suggested that the policy significantly improved Lionel Messi's fitness at Barcelona.
Nasri, who joined Sevilla from City on a season's loan in August, said that the instruction was intended to reduce the number of muscle injuries suffered by players.
According to the France midfielder, the post-midnight sex ban was put in place even if players had the following day off.
City's manager is known to be keen to ensure that his players are asleep by midnight to ensure that they get plenty of rest before matches.
However, although Guardiola did not address Nasri's comments directly, he is adamant that a healthy sex life improves a player's footballing performance.
"It's impossible to play good football if you don't make sex with your partner," he said.
"I would never ban that. If you are doing it... better players."
Guardiola's response to Nasri's comments was delivered with a tone of amusement, and he appeared to be in good spirits as he prepared his team for today's Premier League trip to Crystal Palace.
His team go into the weekend's fixtures in search of an improvement in league form, having slipped to third place following three successive home draws.
An impressive Champions League victory over Barcelona before the recent international break provided evidence of how good City can be, but a combination of attacking profligacy and defensive vulnerability has been punished repeatedly at domestic level of late.
The result is that City have failed to win Premier League matches in which they have dominated, enjoying 71 per cent of possession as they were held 1-1 at home by Middlesbrough two weeks ago.
John Stones has attracted a significant chunk of the criticism for City's defensive issues, with former England manager Glenn Hoddle among those suggesting that the 22-year-old centre-back is too keen to try to play his way out of dangerous situations.
However, the ball-playing defender is a key part of Guardiola's philosophy, and the manager has no intention of modifying Stones's style.
"It's difficult for me to find at that age, one [other] player with this personality, it's difficult to find it, this personality to play," Guardiola said.
"Sometimes you have to help him understand when he can do some things and in some other moments he cannot.
"But the basics, the principles, the qualities... he's great."
Guardiola added: "I like working with John with a lot because he tries to improve. He realises his mistakes, he knows he can be better.
"He's always available to help the team and the way he plays is special. He is strong in the air and defensively has good qualities." (© Daily Telegraph, London)