Pep Guardiola defended his decision to have only six substitutes for Manchester City’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Burnley, claiming that he did not have enough players to fill his bench despite boasting the Premier League’s most expensive squad.
He has insisted that an elite development squad fixture on Friday evening was also a key factor behind his decision as he did not want to withdraw any of his youngsters from that game to travel with the first team.
“We didn’t have any players,” said Guardiola. “They are injured.
“I’d like to have 18 players and could have called on one of the second team, but they played yesterday. Others were injured.
“We decided not to bring someone onto the bench who played last night because they wouldn’t have played. We will see at Leicester (on Saturday) how many are coming back.”
The draw at Turf Moor came 24 hours after Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho appeared to already concede the title race to Guardiola.
And the City manager insisted that complacency wasn’t City’s problem on Saturday.
“Believe me the team was focused,” said Guardiola. “You don’t play as we did without that.
“Jose said what he did, I said what I did. You can believe which one. There are still 36 points to play for. A lot will happen.
“Today we had 15 players and one goalkeeper. Football is unpredictable ? you saw what happened today. We played amazing football, and I don’t have regrets.
“Today was one of the best performances we have had this season by far. We controlled many, many situations. That’s why I am optimistic that (we) can keep going at this level.”
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