Guardi­ola wary of threat Hud­der­s­field can pose

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SOCCER - JAMIE JACK­SON

Pep Guardi­ola has said Manch­ester City will not be guilty of the com­pla­cency that led to Manch­ester United’s de­feat at Hud­der­s­field Town this sea­son.

The Premier League lead­ers play at the John Smith’s Sta­dium to­mor­row. José Mour­inho’s side lost there 2-1 on Oc­to­ber 21st and the United man­ager said his play­ers’ at­ti­tude was to blame.

Guardi­ola shrugged off any no­tion City could suf­fer the same fate.

“The warn­ing is to say: ‘Be care­ful,’” he said, be­fore point­ing to last sea­son’s FA Cup goal­less draw at Hud­der­s­field. “We know ex­actly what hap­pens, we were there, and some­times you have to ac­cept the op­po­nent is bet­ter.

“What [Hud­der­s­field’s man­ager David] Wagner has done speaks for it­self: pro­mo­tion from the Cham­pi­onship, the re­sult against United but not just that. At home they have had good re­sults. When they de­cide to make high press­ing they are so well or­gan­ised. The re­sult against United is a good sig­nal. At home they’ve had good re­sults, they are in­tense.

“Hud­der­s­field will be com­pli­cated. There will be a big at­mos­phere but it’s the same as Brighton [where City won 2-0]; peo­ple said it’s not easy but it’s nor­mal that it’s dif­fi­cult. But com­pla­cency will not hap­pen.”

Phil Fo­den made his de­but in Tues­day’s 1-0 Cham­pi­ons League win over Feyeno­ord, com­ing on for the last 15 min­utes.

Asked how much more play­ing time may be given to the 17-year-old mid­fielder, Guardi­ola said: “We are so pleased he played. It is so im­por­tant for the club to have one, two or three lo­cal play­ers from the academy.

“His fam­ily are City fans and that’s so im­por­tant. So we’ll take the de­ci­sion about him play­ing more – it de­pends on his qual­ity and his devel­op­ment.”

Best num­ber

Ra­heem Ster­ling scored the win­ner against Feyeno­ord. It was his 11th goal of the sea­son, equalling his best re­turn, and Guardi­ola was sur­prised at the tally.

“It’s good. Ser­gio Agüero didn’t play all the games, Gabriel Je­sus too. Nor­mally both are bet­ter scor­ers. It’s good the play­ers know he can score goals. It’s the best num­ber of his ca­reer and we’re in Novem­ber and there’s a lot of time to score more.”

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