Pep Guardiola calls for Man City 'shutdown' after UEFA decision
The Catalan coach held a meeting with his squad after the mini-break and has requested two weeks with no interviews, publicity events or parties.
After discovering the UEFA ruling issued last Friday (14.02) which is set to see Manchester City fined and banned from UEFA club competition for two seasons (pending appeal), City coach Guardiola summoned an urgent meeting with his squad and staff on Saturday at the City Football Academy. Training was scheduled at 1500 (GMT) but before the session, the Catalan coach set a series of demands for his players with two decisive weeks coming up for the club on the pitch.
Guardiola requested maximum levels of professionalism and responsibility from his squad as they head into a fortnight of key games with the squad having enjoyed five days off ahead of Sunday's postponed home game against West Ham United (due to adverse weather conditions in the region).
Ahead of the pivotal Champions League Round of 16 home and away legs against Real Madrid, Guardiola has requested that his players avoid giving interviews, carry out publicity events or hold large family gatherings with his aim being that the players are 100% focused going into the UCL tie. He also took time to reiterate the importance of rest, eating well and being focused in training.
Key City fixture list
Manchester City now face West Ham on Wednesday (Feb. 19) and face a tricky away game to third placed Leicester City on Sunday. Pep claims that his side will not be distracted by the UEFA ruling and will maintain optimum focus on finishing as high as possible in the 2019-20 Premier League table. Wednesday 26th, sees the Mancunian side travel to the Spanish capital where they face Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu. This intense run of fixtures continues with a Wembley Carabao Cup final against Aston Villa on March 1st.
Pep also alluded to the UEFA ban in his speech to the staff: "We need to show what we can do on the pitch, we are football, not money. The club will focus on the UEFA situation, not us" as he concluded his talk with a positive message.
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