Pep Guardiola insists there will be opportunities for all of his Manchester City players over the remainder of the season – if they are patient.
City, who are still in contention for four trophies, currently have close to a full-strength squad.
That means competition for places is fierce, a point illustrated by Guardiola’s naming of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane on the bench for Saturday’s FA Cup victory over Burnley.
But with a congested fixture list, this is how Guardiola wants it and he says all players must be ready for even the smallest amounts of action.
The City manager said: “When one player plays 20 minutes, I want the best 20 minutes they can play, or if they play five minutes, I want the best five minutes they can play – because we want to get to the late stages, and this maybe will make the difference. Maybe in those five minutes they can help to win something, and that is what I need.
“I try to be generous with them and everyone plays. I could be selfish and say I like just these two players (in this position), and play these two. No, that’s not happening with us.
“And after that the guys who play better, or the guys who are more nicer with me and the staff and his mates, they have more chance to play the important games that everyone wants to play. It depends on them and not just me.”
Guardiola, whose side resume their Premier League title defence at Newcastle on Tuesday, continues to play down all talk of the quadruple.
But the Spaniard does admit he dreams of bringing the same long-term success to City as that enjoyed by some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
He said: “When I say Bayern Munich, Juventus, Barcelona are the best it is because it doesn’t matter what happened before, they go again, and again, and again.
“That is the most difficult thing. Win one night, two nights, one title, two titles – that can happen but that consistency every three days for 11 months, for 10 years, that’s what I respect and admire the most.
“That will be my dream in the club, to live something (like that) that in the period that we were together, every single game and every single competition we tried to do that. And so far we have done it.”
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