Guardiola: Man City are not low on confidence

Ruben Hill
December 2, 2019

But, after Laporte's injury, that only left John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi as recognised centre-backs.

The pair - who are now the club's only fit senior specialist central defenders - have not started together since a calamitous loss to Norwich in September.

City are now third in the Premier League table; 11 points behind league leaders Liverpool.

He even suggested that the 34-year-old may continue in to play in defence in the future.

Asked why Stones and Otamendi are not trusted together, Guardiola said: "Because I like 'Dinho playing in that position a lot".

"I prefer Gundogan and Rodri in [the defensive midfield] position". "That is why he plays".

After failing to keep a clean sheet in seven games in all competitions, however, Guardiola accepts his team needed to tighten up at the back.

"We are going to try to get back to winning games on Tuesday and stay positive to get on a good run and see where it takes us".

Gundogan will miss Tuesday's clash at Burnley through suspension and record goalscorer Sergio Aguero remains on the sidelines with a thigh injury.

City, who lost 2-1 on Tyneside last season, produced a much better display this time around, yet were still unable to make it count.

"He is not ready for the derby, but after the derby, we will see", said the City boss.

The injury to Aymeric Laporte early in the season could be pointed to as the defining moment in the collapse of Manchester City's title challenge, but in reality, they would have had to be essentially ideal in order to keep pace with Liverpool, who have collected 40/42 possible points and are heading towards a 100+ point season, which would be the best ever season in Premier League history.

However, facing Burnley at Turf Moor should prove a tough test for most sides in the English top-flight.

"They have to believe we win tomorrow", he said. That is the fact.

"Last year was quite similar when [Liverpool] had a similar lead but we still have time this year to recover, to catch them and to again try to win the Premier League, so we hope we can do that. We have to be more solid and score the chances we have". The team is always there. What they do they do perfectly.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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