Pep Guardiola has said the Manchester City supporters banned for vile chants following the death of Sir Bobby Charlton do not represent the club.
English football has mourned the passing of Manchester United and England great Charlton across the last week, though the news of the 86-year-old’s death was greeted with vile chants from some City supporters.
City have banned those fans and, speaking ahead of this weekend’s Manchester Derby, Guardiola has said those supporters do not represent the Citizens.
“They don’t represent us. What represents us is that the next time I go to Old Trafford to sign the book on condolences on behalf of Manchester City,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference.
“We have a huge respect for Manchester United and especially the icon and the figure that is Sir Bobby Charlton.
“Our condolences are with his family and with Manchester United. They always are and always will be there.”
Guardiola will be looking to continue a strong recent record in this fixture, with City having won four of the past five meetings in all competitions. On the rivalry with Manchester United, the Spaniard said: “It’s OK – it’s a good rivalry. No big issues have happened – I am eight seasons here as manager and there have been no big issues. We have won games and lost games, but nothing bad has happened.”
City matched Manchester United’s achievement in winning a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble last season. Guardiola admitted the chance to emulate their rival’s previously unprecedented feat was added motivation for his side.
“We won the Treble [repeating Manchester United’s achievement under Sir Alex Ferguson in the 1998-99 season] – for us it was so important for us as a side to arrive in Istanbul with the chance to do that.”