Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said his players struggle to enjoy their football due to the frenetic schedule played out amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic lockdown in Britain meant that football was suspended in March before a retstart in June, which was followed by the conclusion of the Champions League campaign.

Premier League
'We need Aguero' - Guardiola not sure when striker will return

That led to a shortened pre-season, and in addition to the recution of substitutes back to three per match, many managers have complained that injuries are a greater risk.

City, who bounced back from last week's defeat by Tottenham Hotspur and moved up to eighth with the win against Burnley, travel to Porto for a Champions League game on Tuesday before facing Fulham in the Premier League on Saturday.

"The problem is the players lose the joy of playing football," Guardiola told the press after his club's 5-0 win over Burnley.

"Before it was nice playing once or twice a week with spectators. Now it's three days and then another one. We will travel to Porto to win, then prepare against Fulham."

City had netted just 10 times in their opening eight games before Saturday's victory and Guardiola said his forwards must continue to add to their tallies if they are to retain their place in the starting line-up.

"The goals help us, of course. Gabriel Jesus has to score goals. Raheem Sterling when he plays has to score. They have to score more goals. That is why they are here. It depends on the players, their performance on the pitch," Guardiola said.

Advantage Chelsea? Alaba’s agent pushes for transfer – Euro Papers

Transfer news LIVE – United set sights on new defender
18/01/2021 AT 08:22
Premier League
Stones scores brace as rampant City cruise past Palace
17/01/2021 AT 17:33