Pep Guardiola press conference with tongue firmly in cheek? “Newcastle always have threats.”
Pep Guardiola still has plenty to aim for this season.
Liverpool are the champions but three dates loom large in the calendar for Man City.
Saturday 18 July Manchester City play Arsenal in their FA Cup semi-final, then Saturday 1 August is the FA Cup final, before restarting their Champions League campaign with a second leg last 16 game at home to Real Madrid, having won the away leg and holding a goal advantage.
Eleven points clear of fifth with five games to go, Man City surely have far far more to worry about from their CL ban being upheld, rather than worrying about finishing top four.
Nevertheless, Pep Guardiola insists he is also taking the remaining PL games very seriously, as well as Champions League and FA Cup.
As for Wednesday’s opponents, Pep Guardiola insists: ‘Newcastle always have threats.’
A reminder that you shouldn’t take very seriously what managers say about the opposition, only nine days ago the only chance NUFC had against Man City was created by Otamendi playing across the edge of his box as Guardiola’s team totally dominated.
Earlier on Tuesday, Steve Bruce indicated at least eight players are set to miss this game.
Any threats Newcastle have tomorrow will definitely be a bonus, especially with ASM and Almiron set to miss.
Pep Guardiola asked about facing Newcastle United and Steve Bruce:
“He [Steve Bruce] arrived in pre-season when we met in China.
“He landed there to see the last friendly game and there were a lot of rumours but he has done incredibly well in the Premier League.
“He has already avoided relegation – last season they struggled most of the season until the end.
“Steve Bruce has done an incredible job.
“It was tight and difficult [in the 2-2 November game at St James Park] and we dropped two more points, we didn’t have an incredible performance but once Kevin [de Bruyne] scored the goal [to make it 2-1] we should ahve been able to finish the game.
“Newcastle always have threats.
“They are a team with good physicality but hopefully we can do a good game like we did a few games ago in the FA Cup [winning 2-0].”
Finishing top four:
“We need four more points [to finish top four for Champions League qualification, unless ban is upheld].
“I was worried after we beat Arsenal and Burnley how our approach would be [in the rest of the matches] but the effort was incredible, even in those games that we lost.
“That has made me confident that we will not relax in these final Premier League games.”
Planning for remaining Premier League games?
“To win tomorrow [against Newcastle].
“Then [win] the next ones, especially tomorrow though.
“When you lose nine games you cannot win the Premier League now, maybe years ago [you could].
“The champions [this season] had to score above 90 points so when you lose nine games you cannot win the league.
“I was not able to solve this problem that we have had since the beginning of the season, I remember the game against Tottenham at home, they had two shots on target and we shot more than 20 and we drew [2-2].
“It happened in the second game in the league [against Tottenham] and the last game against Southampton was similar – I was not able to change this dynamic.”
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