Pep Guardiola has insisted rotation will be key to Manchester City’s bid for honours in the second half of the season, and is happy to see substance take centre stage over style.
City beat Arsenal 1-0 on Sunday thanks to Raheem Sterling’s early goal to extend their winning run in all competitions to 18.
They hold a 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League, but there are other fronts to fight on - with the club into the final of the Carabao Cup, quarter finals of the FA Cup and last-16 of the Champions League.
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City face Borussia Monchengladbach in the first leg of their Champions League tie on Wednesday. Guardiola hinted changes will be made - and will be a regular feature of his management in the final three months of the season.
“We need everyone,” Guardiola said. “Now having a game every three days with travel, I’m going to have to rotate the team. It’s impossible to sustain this rhythm.
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"We now have four games in a row in the Premier League. We know what we want to do. We want to make a big step."
City’s win over Arsenal was their 13th in a row in the league, and while Guardiola is famed for the attractive nature of his team’s play, he is content to grind out results.
"People look at our run of wins and think it’s so easy,” he said. “I didn’t expect it. I’m more than grateful for these players for what they’re doing, but winning these games 1-0 is what we need to do.
Every game you are not going to win games 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, sometimes when you win 1-0 it is so good. We have to realise what we are doing is so difficult. It is a struggle, a fight, behind the ball and that is why we like this result.
"It is one more, one more. We think all the time the next one. That is now Champions League, then West Ham at home. One at a time. 39 points to play. We have 10 up front. So we have to win."
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