Pep Guardiola – Man City need to adapt better to their schedule to achieve glory in the FA Cup


Pep Guardiola admits his Manchester City side will need to get a handle on the schedule better to avoid another FA Cup semi-final stumble.

City reached the quarter-finals of the competition for the sixth time under Guardiola as they thrashed Burnley 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Among those previous semi-finals, City were victorious in 2019 – and went on to win the Championship – but they were beaten in the other four.

Guardiola feels that scheduling those games in mid-April, so close to the Champions League and Premier League fixtures where they chase glory on multiple fronts, was problematic for his side.

This year’s semi-finals come just days after a potentially titanic Champions League quarter-final clash at Bayern Munich and Guardiola admits the preparations can be tough.

He said: “The worst game we play is always the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. We’ve never been there.

“We’ve done really bad every time. Even the year we won, we struggled, against Brighton, not really good.

“I hope we play one year in the semi-finals here in Manchester – but the last years it’s always before or after the Champions League quarter-finals we’ve traveled.

“We weren’t ready, tired, and hopefully this year we can prepare a little better. The FA Cup final is a dream to play and we’re going to try this season.”

City will play the second leg of their clash with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, April 19, and so Guardiola would prefer Sunday’s place in the FA Cup semi-final on the weekend of the 22-23.

However he accepts that this is not his choice and that his team will just have to deal with what they have been given.

He said: If the lottery is on Saturday, we will play on Saturday. We have to prepare better. To play the semi-finals, you need to be ready. It is very important.

“We played naive, not very well. Three-0 against Liverpool (in 2022) – I know they’re a good team but 3-0 in the first half? When we lost against Arsenal in Mikel (Arteta)’s first season (2020), it was really bad. .

“Hopefully this time we act as we are. I always had the feeling that we weren’t competing, we weren’t there, we weren’t hungry enough.”

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