Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has defended his comments regarding the blues attendance, and has hinted he may step aside if what he is saying becomes an issue.
The Catalan boss commented after the 6-3 Champions League win over RB Leipzig that he would like to see a larger crowd for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Southampton. However, his words have irritated some supporters, and Guardiola addressed those in his news conference.
“Did I say after the game that I was disappointed that the stadium was not full?” asked the manager. “An interpretation is an interpretation. I am not going to apologise for what I said because I didn’t say it wrong.
It’s not the first time I said in my career - I said it at Barcelona and Bayern and here. When we played a tough game like Leipzig and play three games later with a lack of preparation (against Southampton) I know how difficult it is, to ask for us all to do it again on Saturday again.
“I made an approach to do something together again the next Saturday at 3pm. What I said was we need the support, with 10,000, 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 - it doesn’t matter how many people come - but I invite them to come and enjoy the game because we need the support.
“If after five seasons people cannot understand my behaviour it’s because they want to misunderstand exactly what I said. I’m not going to apologise for one second, because I was honest.”
And Guardiola went on to say how he knew the history of the club and how loyal the faithful is to the club. “We are who we are, we are proud of who we are. I know the history, I’ve learned the history of this club from the lower divisions what it means to travel and follow the club. I respect that.
“Don’t put some words in my mouth that I didn’t say. And If I’m a big, big problem... I will never be a problem for my fans, never ever.
“If I’m a problem for my fans I will make a step aside, it’s not a problem for me. But I am one of them. Since day one I tried to do my best, that’s for sure.”