Pep Guardiola has been delighted with the time he has been able to enjoy with his players on the training pitch.
The Manchester City boss was less than pleased with pre-season when he had to prepare for the opening fixtures with the majority of his squad still resting up after the European Championship and Copa America. Ahead of the start of the campaign, he called on those players publicly to come back with the right fitness and mentality.
While City suffered an opening-day defeat to Tottenham, the group have been able to enjoy full weeks on the training ground since with no midweek games – unlike the beginning of last season. And as well as having consecutive 5-0 home wins on the record from the last fortnight, Guardiola has been delighted with how the players have picked back up what is expected of them ahead of a busy slog following the international break.
“What’s important is not what we have done – we have six points right now from just three fixtures – but we have the feeling that these two-and-a-half weeks have helped us a lot to work again with our basics and our principles, and the people day-by-day,” he said.
“The way they trained in these two, three days I’m really impressed, I said to the players: continue like this, guys. I’m not [as] glad for the result but the way they behave and every single day. Now they go to the national teams and come back, hopefully fit, no injures.
“You see the schedule for September – we have to be ready, because a tough, tough tough period for us is coming.”