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Festive Schedule 'Will Kill Players' - Pep Guardiola

Festive Schedule 'Will Kill Players' - Pep Guardiola

"I am really impressed because after more than two months injured and (having had) one game at global against Gibraltar and to play at that level shows how strong he is in his mind", said Guardiola.

John Stones admits there was an upside to his recent injury lay-off - being able to watch Manchester City. "In the internal meetings we are going to decide what is best".

"But what everyone saw in the last weeks is how many injuries the players have".

"This kind of thing I can give my opinion, but do you believe I am going to get them to change something?" I think the federation (FA) has to reflect.

And Guardiola was also backed by West Brom boss Alan Pardew, who is furious his side play their second game in the space of two days while their opponents West Ham have had six days rest. It's not normal guys.

"They (the authorities) have to control it. They must protect the players", Guardiola said. They have to protect them and play with quality and not quality.

Leicester had only 213 hours between the start and finish of their four fixtures, while Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has bemoaned the schedule publicly too. Here are now more strong teams, a lot of competitions, a lot of games. The Belgian was sold by Mourinho at Chelsea some years ago, moving to Wolfsburg before signing for City and coming into his own this season as one of the best players in the world.

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'This is not basketball, it's not tennis - players need recovery.

“The other 50 per cent is Raheem has to be open to listening to the advice and knowledge — because you could have a player that isnt interested and thinks I am good and doesnt want to take it in. Guardiola said he may miss more matches.

De Bruyne, 26, was a surprise name on the teamsheet at the Etihad but delivered two assists against Watford to prove his fitness.

'So I'll respect whatever the club tells me'.

David Silva was also influential on his return to the side after missing four of the previous five games for personal reasons.

The midfielder has been travelling between Manchester and Spain and Guardiola is prepared to give the Spanish worldwide more time off if he requires it.

"The truth is I'm very happy here but, as always, as I said before, the club has the last word".