Pep Guardiola has told Kevin Parker, the general secretary of the Manchester City fans club, to “check” his comments after Wednesday’s win over RB Leipzig, and the manager declined to apologize for his comments.
Following City’s 6-3 victory in the opening match of the Champions League group stage, Guardiola said his players were tired and would like “more people” to come to Southampton’s visit on Saturday. than the 38,062 who attended Leipzig’s game at the Etihad Stadium, which is home to just under 54,000.
This prompted Parker to tell the City manager to focus on training. “In the best possible way, I think maybe I should stick to that,” he said.
Visibly unhappy Guardiola responded on Friday. “Did I say after the game against Leipzig that I was disappointed that the stadium was not full?” he said. “Interpretation is interpretation. I’m not going to apologize for what I said. I’m amazed at what happened to this man.
“It is not the first time in my career that I say it; the same [when in charge] in Barcelona and Bayern Munich. You play a tough Champions League game, knowing that you have another one in three days and that Southampton have had the whole week to prepare.
“I zoomed in [to the support] do something together again on Saturday at 3pm. What I said is that we would love it and need your support. Whether it’s 10,000 people, 50,000 or 40,000, no matter how many come, I invite you to come and enjoy a game.
“After five seasons [here]If people cannot understand my behavior, it is because they want to misinterpret exactly what I said. I’m not going to apologize for a second because I was honest.
“I would rather be with my people than without my people. But if they don’t come for some reason, then it’s perfect. If you do, it will be a pleasure. Therefore, Mr. Parker should review the comments made a day later. I will not apologize, absolutely not.
“We are who we are. I know the history, I learned about the history. This club [when it was] in the lower division, which means following the team. I don’t want to be like [Manchester] United, Liverpool, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, [Real] Madrid, like all the big clubs. Don’t put words in my mouth, I don’t like it. If I have a problem with the fans, I will step aside. It is not a problem for me. I am one of them.
“It was tough against Leipzig. We were exhausted, I saw it in the locker room. At the time I was thinking of Southampton in three days. “
Guardiola had said on Wednesday: “I would like more people to come in the next game on Saturday. We need people next Saturday, please. Because we will be tired; I know the ralph team [Hasenhüttl] it is quite similar [to Leipzig] the way they play. They are so, so dangerous with good quality and it is a very important game for us, so I invite all our people to come next Saturday at 3pm to watch the game.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism