With his squad finally healthy, the Spanish manager believes the team is in an ideal state with the international break nearly here
Pep Guardiola was in excellent spirits after Manchester City had little problem finishing off Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday by doubling their aggregate advantage to 4-0.
The manager now has depth from which to rotate as he navigates multiple competitions, with recent injury returners continuing to make their mark. Kevin De Bruyne scored the opener and Sergio Aguero came on as a substitute after netting on the weekend.
Guardiola said he hoped his squad could “maintain this mood” – the closest thing to expressing contentment the typically stern boss has offered during City’s stretch of 24 wins out of 25 matches.
What has been said?
“It was a good performance, we controlled the game from the beginning,” Guardiola told BT Sport. “This competition is tricky but after the two goals everything was easier – everyone in their position moved the ball quick.
“A lot of players like Phil Foden, Bernando Silva, they have a lot of quality, they help us a lot but everyone was so committed and we are delighted to be in the next stage.
“After the international break, we will have time to think. The quality every time is higher and hopefully we can maintain this mood. I always think when you go through you deserve it. We try to play good and we will see what happens.
“We now have everybody fit. That’s why we can rotate six or seven players. If you want to compete for competitions you have to be fresh. The seasons are so long, we haven’t had one long week since October.”
A ridiculously strong bench
Guardiola fielded one of his best benches of the campaign against Gladbach, taking advantage of the healthy bodies he now has available.
There were a number of players there who could start for many above average teams – Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Ferran Torres were all held out of the starting XI as the manager continued to rotate his side.