Guardiola says Man City face travel chaos amid hectic schedule

AFP , Wednesday 27 Sep 2023

Pep Guardiola fears Manchester City will be hit by a lack of recovery time because they don't have a plane available to fly back from Wednesday's League Cup tie at Newcastle.

Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Nottingham Forest at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northwest England, on September 23, 2023. Photo: AFP


City usually travel by train to away matches in England, but there are are available for the late return from Tyneside.

The treble winners have been unable to find a plane as an alternative travel solution, so Guardiola's squad will instead have to make the 142-mile journey back to Manchester on a coach.

As the first of six away matches over the next seven games for City, it is hardly ideal and Guardiola is concerned about the potential damage to the team's results if fatigue bites.

The third round clash with Newcastle followed by a Premier League trip to Wolves, a Champions League fixture at German side Leipzig and then a crucial league game against title rivals Arsenal in London.

"We cannot come back by plane because we don't have planes to travel back so we have to take a bus, it's two, three hours later, we arrive here so, so late," Guardiola told reporters on Tuesday.

"The bus is no problem but we arrive much later than we expect. Then Friday we have to travel to Wolves.

"We go to Germany to play Champions League, it's a really, really important game for us because we know what it means to be able to win there for qualification for the next stage. This is what we have to do."

Guardiola admits he will have to start several players he would rather rest against Newcastle because he does not feel he can call on untried academy graduates against a team that crushed Sheffield United 8-0 on Sunday.

"We cannot take a few of them because we sell a lot of them and still they are not ready to play with us," he said.

"That's why I have to give time to them to develop. They are still so young to play Newcastle away."

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