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FA Cup | Final
May 25, 2024 at 3pm UK
Wembley Stadium
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Man City
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Man Utd

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'When you don't win you're always in trouble' - Pep Guardiola comments on Erik ten Hag's job at Manchester United

'When you don't win you're always in trouble' - Guardiola comments on Ten Hag's job at Man Utd
© Reuters
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has "huge respect" for Erik ten Hag and believes his Manchester United side have suffered due to the volume of injuries they have had to contend with this season.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said that he has "huge respect" for Erik ten Hag and believes that his Manchester United side have suffered due to the volume of injuries that they have had to contend with this season.

The Red Devils have endured an underwhelming 2023-24 campaign and their lowest-ever Premier League finish (eighth) was confirmed last weekend, despite winning 2-0 at Brighton & Hove Albion on the final day.

Man United's defence of their EFL Cup trophy was ended in the fourth round, while they crashed out in the group-stage of the Champions League after finishing rock bottom behind Bayern Munich, Copenhagen and Galatasaray.

The pressure has subsequently been mounting on Ten Hag, who in his defence has continuously addressed the fact that he has not been blessed with a fully-fit squad throughout this season, which he feels has hindered the club's progress.

Man United will lock horns with Man City in the second successive all-Manchester derby FA Cup final on Saturday and they know that a place in next season's Europa Conference League can only be secured if they beat the holders at Wembley Stadium.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates after the match on May 11, 2024© Reuters

Guardiola: 'Ten Hag has done many good things'

Ahead of the 143rd FA Cup final, Guardiola has acknowledged that any manager at the highest level is "in trouble" if they are not winning matches, but he understands the frustrations that Ten Hag has had when selecting his Red Devils team this season.

"In big clubs like United, City, when you don't win you are always in trouble. I would be in trouble if we didn't win," Guardiola said at a press conference on Friday.

"[Ten Hag] has done many good things, I have huge respect for his job in the past and now at United. I completely agree when I listen to him when he says they have not had a full squad this season and had a lot of injuries.

"I think this is the most important thing they have to think about because I am always focused that we have to be fit, fit, fit - otherwise we cannot use the players.

"They had a lot of problems and when that happens the manager suffers a lot. The squad is really good but the problem is when you cannot use them. This is a big disadvantage."

Asked whether Ten Hag is under pressure going into Saturday's final, Guardiola added: "I don't know. Sometimes it's an advantage. Sometimes if you feel under pressure you perform better.

"One week ago, champions of the Premier League, it can give you an extra for the confidence or maybe can give you completely the opposite to be too much relaxed. So you never know. Process is tomorrow, 3pm, be ready. This is the point."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates with the trophy after winning the Premier League on May 19, 2024© Reuters

Guardiola "impressed" with Man City's "focus"

While Man United are bidding to win their first FA Cup since 2016, Man City are looking to become the first English team to win the league title and FA Cup in consecutive seasons.

A week on from clinching an unprecedented fourth Premier League title in a row, Guardiola has been impressed with the "focus" of his Citizens squad as they attempt to make further history on Saturday.

"The fact we can do back to back doubles - of course it's important," said Guardiola. "The FA Cup itself is the FA Cup. Wembley, our fans going to London. The players know it's the last game of season, the last effort.

"I've been impressed with how good we trained after few days off. The people are so focused. Everyone wants to be involved and we will do our best, that's for sure. I have to decide a few things, the doubts, the line-up and then go."

Man City beat Man United 2-1 in last season's FA Cup final, while they have also won both home and away meetings in this season's Premier League by an aggregate score of 6-1.

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pictured on April 11, 2023
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