Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola faced the media today for the first press conference since the international break, and the manager gave some injury updates and praised his opposite number, former blue Frank Lampard.
The blues suffered their third defeat of the season at Liverpool in the last match before the break, and City will be eager to get back down to business in the Premier League and look to take that 3-1 defeat out on Chelsea.
City thumped the blues 6-0 last season as they marched towards back to back title wins, but with the recent fine form of the visitors, a repeat of that scoreline seems unlikely.
The press conference started with the media getting Pep’s opinion on Jose Mourinho returning to management with Spurs. The Portuguese was sacked by United 12 months ago and Pep described him as an ‘incredible manager,’ but that he was surprised by the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino.
On Bernardo Silva, Pep was asked why City didn’t appeal the ban that has been applied to the midfielder, following his tweet to Benjamin Mendy. “In that situation the less important thing is we are going to miss him,” Pep replied. “He has been accused for something he is not. If they want to pick up someone to show something it was the right person. He will be careful to use social media. If this can help to do a better society, ok. I’m pretty sure Bernardo accepts this punishment, but he is not like he has been accused.”
Silva will miss Saturday’s match when he serves his one match ban.
The manager was then quizzed about the title race, but Pep quickly turned the focus onto other title rivals, while refusing to rule City out of the race. “A few weeks ago there were two contenders and now we have four so maybe there will be six in a few days. We are in November, there is a long way to play.”
Attention turned to Frank Lampard. The Chelsea manager spent a season at City, before moving to the American MLS, before returning to the UK to take on his first managerial role at Derby. He took the Rams to the bring of the Premier League, before taking over the Chelsea hotseat in the summer. After a difficult start, Lampard has guided Chelsea to second in the Premier League and turned them into possible title challengers. “He has been a manager for a year and a half and I am a little longer because I am a little older but he has his future in his hands. From my experience, experience doesn’t count much. I would say that when you know the club it is a good advantage and Lampard knows Chelsea perfectly and everything behind the scenes - media, fans, players - so that is good. When I arrived not many people trusted me, honestly. Few, few people. Maybe the president, sporting director and not many.”
Before he finished, Pep gave an injury update, confirming goalkeeper Ederson will be back against Chelsea after missing the defeat at Liverpool.