Pep Guardiola claims football's crowded schedule is a 'BIG problem'

Worried Pep Guardiola makes THREE pleas to Man City fans to get behind the team as he bemoans his side’s inability to train ahead of Newcastle United showdown where they’ll miss John Stones and Bernardo Silva

  • Pep Guardiola lamented Man City’s congested calendar before Newcastle clash
  • City claimed their first silverware of season Wednesday in the UEFA Super Cup
  • WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 1 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show 

Pep Guardiola can sense serious danger ahead of facing Newcastle United and called on Manchester City’s supporters to raise the roof in a bid to rouse his jaded squad.

City did not train on the eve of hosting the Magpies, instead spending time in the pool and on the treatment table, with Guardiola bemoaning a lack of restbite since the Super Cup victory in midweek.

John Stones, Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are all missing for the weekend – the latter heading for surgery on a hamstring injury – and City are scouring the market to sign a new central midfielder as a deal for Lucas Paqueta hit the buffers. 

‘We’re not at our best, or our top,’ Guardiola said. ‘It’s normal and we adjusted a few things but the spirit is there. Kevin will be out for four or five months, Ilkay [Gundogan] isn’t here… we need time to adjust a few things.

‘Important players are not here. John is out, Bernardo is out. Ruben [Dias] I don’t know. Josko [Gvardiol] arrives the first minute and needs to know the principles.

Pep Guardiola called upon Man City fans to show their support as his side play host to Newcastle on Saturday

Man City boss revealed his side have not had chance to train since winning the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday

Guardiola also hailed Eddie Howe for creating an ‘extraordinary’ Newcastle team

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‘We need time. We need to build more points. We’re really pleased with the titles we won, we need just one to finish the circle, then the Club World Cup to take all the titles. This is a joy, a pleasure.

‘Tomorrow we need the Etihad Stadium full, stay with us please, we are not in our best moment. Stay there in the bad moments. We need their support.’

Guardiola referenced the fans on three separate occasions during his press conference and used it to challenge his players to fight through problems.

‘Everyone wants to beat us and we have difficulties for many reasons, many important injuries, the calendar,’ he added.

‘It’s a challenge again, to see if we can make a step forward. If you want to win you need that. It’s a step to see the team try to do it again. In football there are always problems, it’s how you overcome them that define if you’re a good team or not.

‘We need our people more than ever this season. We cannot be at the Etihad just looking at how good we are, because of what we’ve done. We need the supporters from the first minute against an extraordinary team.

‘Eddie Howe created a fantastic team, for transitions and in possession – everything – it will be a massive test for us.’

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