Tuesday 18 December 2018

Guardiola vows to respect cup tradition

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: PA
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: PA

Pep Guardiola has promised that Manchester City's congested fixture list will not cause him to abandon the FA Cup as predecessor Manuel Pellegrini did.

City go to Cardiff in the fourth round of the FA Cup tomorrow with the manager having to weigh up how strong a team to put out.

Guardiola is mindful the club are fighting on four fronts and he is expected to make changes, with Claudio Bravo, Danilo and Ilkay Gundogan all likely to feature against the Bluebirds.

Captain Vincent Kompany is ready to play in central defence after overcoming a series of calf problems. Sergio Aguero is expected to lead the attack.

Guardiola does not intend to follow the example set by Pellegrini two seasons ago, who selected a side made up largely of fringe men and academy graduates for a fifth-round tie at Chelsea.

City were beaten 5-1 that day, with Pellegrini justifying the decision by pointing out they had a Champions League away match with Dynamo Kiev three days later.

Guardiola said: "That situation [two seasons ago] was completely different to now. The club [at the time] tried to speak to the federation [the Football Association] to ask for the Chelsea fixture to move, in order to have one more day to go to Kiev.

"I understood what the club did. But here, the television companies decide the fixtures and we'll adjust. We are in four competitions and we have to adapt."

  • Cardiff City v Manchester City, Live, BBC 1, 4.0 tomorrow

Irish Independent

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