AFP, Friday 26 May 2023
Pep Guardiola believes his Manchester City players are ready to take the chance to deliver a historic treble of the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League.
Manchester City s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola poses with the Premier League trophy after the presentation ceremony following the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on May 21, 2023. Photo: AFP
The English champions sealed their third consecutive league title with three games to spare and will face Manchester United in the FA Cup final and Inter Milan in the Champions League decider next month.
Only United’s class of 1998/99 have ever previously won the treble in English football.
“Everybody knows what position we are in. It comes once in a lifetime,” Guardiola said on Friday.
“Once we are there, first of all you have to relax and enjoy and do your best, but no one can be sure we will be in that position again.
“They are ready. I see many details — how they come up on days off to make treatments, how many hours they stay to make the treatments, how players are individually concerned maybe they cannot play the FA Cup final and Champions League final.
“When you see that you don’t have to tell anything and do anything.”
Guardiola’s scrupulous attention to detail is often hailed as a key to his success.
But he said some time off after Sunday’s final league game away to Brentford is the best preparation for two huge matches.
“When I started, it was ‘I have to prepare the final. I have to make a lot of videos’. Now it’s completely the opposite,” said the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss, who has won 11 league titles in 14 seasons as a coach.
“We need to disconnect. Even our physios and doctors and cooks, they work incredibly hard in this period. They don’t have time off. They need to disconnect.
“Go with your families. If the sun is shining, play golf, do whatever you want and (have) quality (rest) to prepare for the finals. Arrive in the best conditions for the finals.”
This article was originally published by Agence France-Presse.