Pep Guardiola has failed to go past the Champions League quarter-finals with Manchester City.© AFP
Pep Guardiola said Manchester City’s consistent qualification from the group stages of the Champions League isn’t provided enough credit ahead of hosting Olympiakos on Tuesday. City can move to the brink of a place in the final 16 of Europe’s premier club competition for the eighth straight season with victory over the Greek outfit this week. Into his fifth crusade in charge in Manchester, Guardiola has received fierce criticism for failing to receive beyond the Champions League quarter-finals. But he pointed to the struggles of Real Madrid, who have taken just one point from their opening two group games, for example of how City’s ability to receive through with minimum fuss is underestimated.
“Qualifying is an important object because yearly there are important clubs (who do not),” said Guardiola.
“Today the competition isn’t like one decade ago when I started as a manager, qualifying used to be easier than presently.”
City are sitting pretty in Group C with maximum points from their opening two games against Porto and Marseille.
And Guardiola is eager to mathematically reach the knockout stages as soon as conceivable so that you can give some key players a rest in November and December with a brutal schedule already taking it’s toll on his squad.
“Each and every game is difficult, people don’t consider it,” added Guardiola. “With this pandemic situation world wide everything is more uncertain for the entire clubs.
“Today it’s not relevant where it’s a must to do a good game to defeat them, it is a tricky competition.
“That’s why I am delighted with what we have done so far and why we cannot overlook this chance.”
Guardiola insisted his attention would not be drawn to Sunday’s conflict with Liverpool in the Premier League.
But there used to be encouraging news ahead of the weekend as he hinted Sergio Aguero is also fit to go back, while Gabriel Jesus has also resumed training after six weeks out.
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