Man City ‘have to suffer’ to win Champions League Final against Chelsea FC, says Pep Guardiola

·2-min read
Man City ‘have to suffer’ to win Champions League Final against Chelsea FC, says Pep Guardiola
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola is not relishing delivering the news to those Manchester City players that have not made the starting lineup for the Champions League Final against Chelsea, while he has urged his squad to handle the tension in Porto this weekend.

With a clean bill of health and huge quality and strength in depth at his disposal, the Spaniard faces some difficult personnel calls for Saturday night’s eagerly anticipated all-English showdown at the Estadio do Dragao.

As one of the most successful and celebrated managers in football history, a major final certainly is not new territory for Guardiola, yet it is clear that leaving players out of such a big occasion never gets any easier.

"Terrible. It's absolutely (a) disaster. I advise you, don't be a manager in your life,” he said at Friday’s pre-final press conference.

"I don't have any nice words to feel relief about the guys who won't play, but my advice is to stick with the team. There are five or six substitutions and everybody has a chance."

Guardiola also knows it is inevitable that some players will feel the nerves ahead of a mammoth tie as Premier League and Carabao Cup winners City go in search of their first Champions League triumph, but he knows precisely how to calm those tensions.

"I know exactly the way we want to play, with who we're going to play and I'm not going to bother them much,” he added.

"It's an incredible experience to be here. I know exactly what I'm going to tell them. The guys who are anxious and nervous, I will tell them that's normal."

He added: “Some players will go out there with tension, some may struggle, but they have to handle this.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"I'm pretty sure we have to suffer to win the final. It's nice to say enjoy it but sometimes it's not possible. You have to be resilient and adjust. We will try to be ourselves and do what we can."

Guardiola also urged his City team to take their opportunities against a talented Chelsea side marshalled by a familiar foe in Thomas Tuchel who will be desperate to secure his first major trophy with the club after the FA Cup Final defeat by Leicester at Wembley.

He will hope that the lessons learned in the semi-final win over Paris Saint-Germain and last-eight tie against Borussia Dortmund stand his stars in good stead against an opponent that has beaten them twice in recent weeks, both in the League and in the FA Cup semis.

“We suffered against PSG and Dortmund but we stuck together,” Guardiola said.

"Tomorrow we will not have 90 minutes of one side dominating. We are going to suffer but when we get momentum we will have to use it."

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