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Pep Guardiola says Manchester City ‘do not have many selections’ in defence | Football News

Last Updated: 19/09/19 7:11am








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Pep Guardiola admits he needs to find a long-term solution to his team’s selection issues at centre-back despite a clean sheet in the 3-0 Champions League win against Shakhtar Donetsk

Pep Guardiola admits he needs to find a long-term solution to his team’s selection issues at centre-back despite a clean sheet in the 3-0 Champions League win against Shakhtar Donetsk

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City “don’t have many choices” in defence after he was forced to field midfielder Fernandinho as a makeshift centre-back.

The 34-year-old Brazilian was deployed alongside City’s only fit senior central defender, Nicolas Otamendi, in Wednesday’s 3-0 Champions League win at Shakhtar Donetsk.

John Stones is out for five weeks due to a muscle injury and Aymeric Laporte is recovering from knee surgery, but Guardiola says midfielder Fernandinho has the personality and experience to solve their injury crisis.

“I didn’t have doubts that he would [look comfortable in the back four]. That’s why he’s so important for us,” Guardiola said, after handing Fernandinho the additional responsibility of captaincy in his first start of the season.

“We don’t have many choices… he’s the only one I have. Other players can play in that position but Fernandinho is a clever player, so intelligent – an incredible guy.

Fernandinho is 'so important' for Manchester City, says Guardiola Fernandinho is 'so important' for Manchester City, says Guardiola

Fernandinho is ‘so important’ for Manchester City, says Guardiola

“He has a lot of experience and personality and what he says the people follow him in the locker room so it’s important.”

Fernandinho, who made two interceptions and had a passing accuracy of 90 per cent against Shakhtar, added: “I’ve been training in this position since the start of the season.

“Today was my opportunity, I hope I can improve. It was a quiet night at the back but the team have made a very good game… because we played as a team.”

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