Pep Guardiola previews Southampton
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Pep Guardiola says he has no time to be nice to his players if he is to keep the trophies rolling in at Manchester City. The City boss delivered furious touchline rollockings to Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish during City’s 6-3 win over RB Leipzig on Wednesday. But the City boss admitted his players are used to him losing it in similar fashion every day in training in an effort to maintain sky-high standards.
“The reaction I’ve done with Riyad in that moment I do it every day in the training session,” said Guardiola.
“My behaviour is the same there as in training every single day.
“In five or six seasons together they know me quite well. We speak about what we have to do and they know they have to do it.”
If new boy Grealish took his medicine without complaint, Mahrez gave as good as he got remonstrating with Guardiola.
But the City boss insisted there was no problem between the two of them.
“I like to work with Riyad, he accepts the challenge and I like that,” said the City manager.
“But he knows we spoke in the half time one action that he should do and he and Jack didn’t do it.
“They have to otherwise Leipzig, who scored three goals, would have scored five or six.
“In that moment it is no time to be nice – we have to do what we have to do.
“When the standards are so high – we won three Premier League titles in four years and we were the runners up in the Champions League – to win everybody has to be ready.”
Guardiola predicts a tough afternoon against Southampton at the Etihad today despite the visitors still searching for a first win of the campaign.
“They played against United at home and deserved to win – United were lucky not to lose that game,” said Guardiola.
“And they were one of the toughest games we had last season, both in Southampton and at home.
“At home we won at the end 5-2 but the first 30 minutes they created more problems. They are brilliant and incredibly organised.
“I know Ralph from my period in Germany. it will be a similar game as Leipzig. They move quick, their transitions are late, they are clear with what they have to do.
“It is going to be harder given the lack of rest because of the Champions League as well. It is so damaging physically and mentally while they have a long week to prepare the game.
“That’s why we need altogether the players, supporters, everyone to help us.”
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