Pep Guardiola has once again made his feelings known about Manchester City’s fixture schedule over the Christmas and New Year period.
The Spaniard has already conceded that his side are unlikely to win the Premier League title this season, but wants to focus on securing a Champions League place.
Like many teams at this time of year, Guardiola’s plans aren’t being helped by a packed fixture schedule.
Following his side’s 3-1 victory against Leicester City on Saturday, the City boss laid out in detail his team’s schedule for the next few days.
“I wrote a letter to the Premier League to say thank you and we are going to the fridge after Wolves to get ready for Sheffield United,” Guardiola told the Telegraph.
“[Sunday was] a day off, we are training [on December] 23 and 24. The night of the 24th is off. The morning of the 25th off. Then the 26th training and 27th [play] Nuno’s team.”
The defending champions are currently 11 points off the top of the table and it already feels like an uphill struggle. They are third in the Premier League, still one point behind Leicester.
And this is not the first time their Catalan boss has voiced his concerns about the number of games his footballers are asked to play.
At the beginning of the 2016/17 season, his first at Manchester City before he went on to win two Premier League titles in consecutive seasons in 2018 and 2019, Guardiola commented on the lack of rest his players were able to get ahead of the new campaign.
“In football, the season starts when the last one finishes,” he said ahead of his first pre-season with the club.
“You don’t have time to rest. We’re going to kill our players. We can give them two or three weeks [holiday] but the schedule is the schedule.
“I don’t like to complain. I would like to have more time from the beginning. I would like to have more friendly games. Competitions finish so late and start again so early so we have to adapt. It is what it is.”