Pep Guardiola has refused to complain about Manchester City’s festive fixture congestion, saying the scheduling of the winter period ‘is what it is’.
The Premier League champions had earlier claimed that the festive fixtures gave title rivals Liverpool an advantage, claiming City’s congested schedule threatened to harm the ‘sporting integrity’ of the division.
City’s fixture with Wolves has been pushed back a day from Boxing Day, giving Guardiola’s side less than 48 hours to prepare for their home fixture against Sheffield United on December 29.
The move gives Man City less turnaround time than almost all of their Premier League rivals with the exception of Wolves, with the club’s complaint being further compounded by the fact that Wolves’ next opponents are title rivals, Liverpool.
Despite the club’s concerns, Guardiola has refused to whinge about his side’s situation but did say that the hectic nature of the English fixture schedule does not ‘protect the players’.
“It is what it is,” Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference.
“Since I came here it happened the same. The concept is not about in this period. I love to play on Boxing Day and at winter when families and kids can go to the stadium and enjoy it.
“The problem is the system doesn’t protect the players.
“Another day we will have more recovery than the other ones. It is what it is.
“If we have to play tomorrow, we have to play tomorrow. We have to play, we’re going to play.”