Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola hopes to make more Wembley memories

Published: Friday 10th March 2017 by The News Editor

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Pep Guardiola would relish the chance to return to Wembley as Manchester City manager.

Guardiola won the Champions League at the venue as both a player and a coach with Barcelona.

City are 90 minutes away from booking a trip to the national stadium as they take on Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarter-finals this weekend.

Guardiola said: “It’s so beautiful and that’s why I’d like to be there. As a football player I won our first Champions League in Wembley, the old Wembley, and as a manager I won my second Champions League there, so of course Wembley is special for me, definitely.

“When I was a kid seeing English football playing in Wembley in all competitions, important games, the tradition there with the two managers going out, I loved that.

“It’s a traditional stadium and of course we’ll be pleased, and not just to come back and remember what we have done. Playing the semi-finals there will be nice and after, if we are able, to play the final.”

Guardiola, however, is not expecting an easy ride from Boro, despite their current struggles.

Aitor Karanka’s side have slipped into the bottom three of the Premier League but they snatched a 1-1 draw with City when they met at the Etihad Stadium in November.

Guardiola said: “They are really well organised and long balls make Middlesbrough so dangerous. Adama (Traore) is so fast on the counter.

“We were not able to win here in our game. In the first half we played amazing but we didn’t score a goal and in the second half we had chances but we didn’t play like the first half. In the last minute they scored a goal. So we have to focus and play as well as possible.”

With City also in Champions League action next Wednesday, Guardiola rotated his squad for their midweek draw with Stoke, resting Raheem Sterling and John Stones and naming David Silva on the bench.

More changes could be made at the Riverside but Guardiola is treating the match with seriousness.

He said: “Of course it’s a final, an away game. We would have preferred to play just one game in the cup at home with our fans, but it was not possible this year. It’s a final, you have to put the best squad as possible.”

City are unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions and Guardiola has been named as the manager of the month for February, but the Spaniard is not sure he merits the prize.

He said: “I think (Antonio) Conte’s cupboard is full enough and they couldn’t fit any more in, so they decided to give it to somebody else.”

Published: Friday 10th March 2017 by The News Editor

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