Pep Guardiola explains rotation position as he confirms Riyad Mahrez decision

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Pep Guardiola has full confidence in all the stars of Manchester City but will not hesitate to let down anyone who is not playing.

The Blues have had a difficult start to the campaign where they have yet to win consecutive games. But with the injury situation and fitness levels greatly improved, the manager started to demand more from the players to generate more competition for places.

With a 0-0 draw at Porto in their first achievement of the season by securing first place in their Champions League group, the next challenge is to climb the Premier League table and make sure they are in. able to fight for the title later in the year.

While there is no doubt about the quality of the players given their achievements in previous years, Guardiola has made it clear that history will not matter much when he chooses his teams.

Instead, as everyone returns to their best, they must demand more of themselves. That’s why John Stones started recently ahead of Aymeric Laporte, and that’s why Riyad Mahrez will return to the squad against Fulham.

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“We know from what we’ve done in the past to raise standards that nothing is perfect, everything can be better. Starting with myself and then the individuals, the group, the staff, the club, everyone, ”said Guardiola. “We have to fight to do better. And we can only do this by demanding more and more of ourselves. It is the only way.

“They must feel that there are six or seven incredible players who are not playing and waiting [for their chance]. And when these guys go out on the pitch and play well, they have a better chance of playing in the future. For 11 months you can drop a bit, that’s okay, but they have to compete, they have to perform well like they did in the last two games, Burnley and Porto – that’s the level from which we have to build something big this season.

” And after that? I need forwards to score goals. Riyad Mahrez scored three goals against Burnley and tomorrow he will play. Because he scored a lot of goals. Guys who score goals will have a better chance of playing. Guys. who do not make mistakes behind will play. It’s about performance, not quality. The quality that we know they have is top level players but it’s a question of performance. The performance must be better and better than the day before. ”

While Kyle Walker and Kevin De Bruyne were left behind when the Blues visited Olympiacos last week, Guardiola criticized the idea that any player not involved in subsequent Champions League games could be considered as rested and took a full team to Porto.

The manager will continue to make changes in matches as he has done throughout his career at City, but has stressed the need for his players to feel the pressure of competition from their teammates all the time.

“There is a misunderstanding about the word rotation. The rotation looks like “I’m a bigger star and now I’m not playing this game because I’m going to play the next big game”. It’s a huge mistake that the players have in their heads, ”he said.

“The rotation is because I want everyone to be fit and ready when we need them and the best way to play is to play. Against Porto, Bernardo was exceptional, the best game he played this season and the game before he played. Is it because I lose confidence in Bernardo? Absolutely not at all. You know my opinion on him. It’s just that I want everyone to be involved and be part of the team and everyone to feel like they have to be ready.

“I put on the best possible team in every game, not because I just give time to other players who are not playing. Guys who don’t play have to understand that if I don’t play them because of the rotation. they have to do more to play on this team. This is the only way to get closer to the biggest teams in Europe and the biggest team in the Premier League. ”

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