The Spanish coach says it is understandable if his squad feel some pressure ahead of their European showdown with Premier League rivals Chelsea
Pep Guardiola says it would be understandable if his Manchester City players were anxious, but has called on his players to hold their nerve ahead of their Champions League clash with Chelsea.
City will play the first Champions League final in the club’s history with only Ilkay Gundogan among their players appearing in the European showcase before.
However, former Barcelona coach Guardiola has the experience of managing and winning two finals, as well as winning one as a player, and admits the occasion is exciting.
What’s been said?
“I know exactly the way we want to play, with who we’re going to play and I’m not going to bother them much,” the City boss said about his pre-match team talk. “I know exactly what I’m going to tell them. The guys who are anxious and nervous, I will tell them it’s normal. They have to handle that.
“It’s an incredible experience to be here, I never expected when I start my career to play even one final. We are so lucky.”
Guardiola has a fully fit squad to choose from and admits it will be a difficult decision to leave key players out of his starting line-up, but he has urged those that miss out to be ready from the substitutes’ bench with the potential to make a big impact.
“Leaving players out is terrible, it’s absolutely a disaster. I advise you don’t be a manager in your life,” he said. “I don’t have any nice words to give relief for the guys who won’t play, but my advice is to stick with the team, there are five substitutions and everybody has a chance. Everyone will be a part.
“I feel incredibly sorry for them but it is what it is. The selection I will do is to win the game. Life will always give you another chance. Work harder next time and maybe you will be there.”
Chelsea have beaten the Premier League champions since Thomas Tuchel took charge of the London club and Guardiola says his players will need to give everything if they are to lift the trophy.
“We’ll have to suffer to win,” he added. “Most times in finals you have to suffer. It’s nice to enjoy it but sometimes it’s not possible. You have to be resilient and adjust. We will try to be ourselves and do what we can.”