Man City vs Tottenham - Pep wants to turn UCL heartache to motivation

Posted Saturday, April 20, 2019 by PA

Man City vs Tottenham - Pep wants to turn UCL heartache to motivation

Pep Guardiola has urged his Manchester City players to use their Champions League heartache as motivation when they face Tottenham again on Saturday.

City were knocked out of the European competition in agonising fashion by Spurs on Wednesday as what would have been dramatic late Raheem Sterling winner at the Etihad Stadium was ruled out by VAR.

Manager Guardiola accepts such anguish is not something players will be able to shut out of their minds quickly but he feels they can turn it into a positive.

Spurs are again the visitors as City’s attention switches to the Premier League title race this weekend.

Guardiola said: “If you believe it doesn’t hurt, or we (will) forget it, I would say no, I don’t want the players to forget what they lived.

“When people expect now we’ve forgotten what we lived on Wednesday for tomorrow, that is not the truth. We would not be human beings. It will take time.

“We have to live and play with that feeling. What we lived last Wednesday in terms of emotion and just simple life was incredible. We were fortunate to live it, we were lucky.

“For a few seconds more than 55,000 joined in and were happy in the most exciting moment, then in one second we are all devastated. People cannot expect it to be over, it’s impossible. It will remain in our hearts.

“It will be always a pity but the performance we did was incredible, how well we played at this level. We were close at the end.

“This we try to put into our game at 12.30 tomorrow.”

Tottenham have also shifted their focus back to domestic matters when they travel to City once again.

With the memory of their Champions League classic still fresh, Spurs can dent the defending Premier League champion’s season further by derailing their title push at the Etihad.

Meanwhile, Spurs can strengthen their hopes of making the top four with another win in Manchester.

However, boss Mauricio Pochettino knows a change of mindset will be needed.

“The Premier League is different and we are fighting for different things,” he told his club’s official website.

“Manchester City are trying to win the Premier League and, for us, it’s so important to be in the top four for next season.”

With Liverpool having what appears on paper to be an easier run-in, City know that they can afford no slip-ups in a bid to defend their title.

There is considerable pressure on them as a result, but also on Spurs who, if they win, can put four points between themselves in third and Arsenal and Chelsea, who sit fourth and fifth and do not play until Sunday.

To get the result he needs, after such a taxing night on Wednesday, the Argentinian admits he may have to field some fresh faces.

“City have an unbelievable squad, they can change and rotate the starting 11 and keep the same level on the pitch,” he said.

“With all the circumstances and some injuries, maybe we need to think about playing with younger players, not without experience, but with plenty of energy and keeping the same ideas – to be brave and try to compete.

“It’s going to be tough but we need to think about recovery and try to design the best strategy to try to be competitive.”

Attention: Third parties may advertise their products and/or services on our website.7M does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of their contents.
Your dealings with such third parties are solely between you and such third parties and we shall not be liable in any way for any loss or damage of any sort incurred by you.