Pep Guardiola and Kyle Walker have been speaking to the press ahead of tomorrow night’s Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk, as the Blues look to make it two out of two in Group F.
The boss had some interesting things to say, again reiterating the need for focus, wary of what happened last year after City’s flying start in all competitions.
“The players know it’s only September,” Pep said. “City always start good and we were not able to maintain results. We’re taking it game by game.”
One of the players Guardiola now looks to for leadership and consistency is Kevin De Bruyne, and after the man himself expressed a desire to spend many more years at the Etihad Stadium, Pep confirmed that work is in progress to prolong the 26-year-old’s contract.
Pep said, “I think so, yeah (KDB new contract). The transfer window is closed but we are still working. We want Kevin to stay as long as possible.”
The much-adored French left-back Benjamin Mendy is a doubt after going off against Crystal Palace, but it doesn’t appear to be serious, with Guardiola saying, “We are going to test and see if Mendy is able to play.”
However, Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gündoğan are OUT of tomorrow’s game.
“Ilkay did part of the training yesterday. Vincent is not ready for tomorrow,” Guardiola told the media at the CFA.
Shakhtar showed their quality on Matchday 1 with a home win over high-flying Serie A side Napoli, and with three Brazilian internationals in their attack, must be respected. Guardiola knows all about the Ukrainian giants and was full of praise.
“Every time I play Shakhtar, I have the same feeling. When I faced them first time my team went to see them and came back and said ‘wow’.
“I can assure you they are one of the best football teams. Napoli are one of the top five teams and they beat them.”