‘We have just 13 players fit!’ – Guardiola ready to use Man City’s academy

The Spanish coach admits the club are short on numbers and he his eager to tap into their talented youth system

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has declared the club only have 13 fit players as he looks to giving their academy players a chance to step up. 

A youthful City side beat Bournemouth 2-1 on Thursday in the Carabao Cup with 17-year-old Liam Delap opening the scoring on debut

Phil Foden set up the opener for Guardiola’s side before sealing the game with a goal of his own in the 75th minute. 

With a number of senior players stuck on the sidelines and others in need of a rest, City named a starting side boasting youngsters like Adrian Bernabe, Thomas Doyle, Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Delap.

Guardiola liked what he saw from the academy products and revealed he may need to use them more in coming weeks. 

“It was a good game, but all our young players played at a high level, Tommy, Taylor, Liam. All of them were really good,” Guardiola said post-match.

“At 17 years old, Liam is a different striker to what we have in terms of physicality. We see in training how good a finisher he is. Now is the time to be calm and keep working. We are delighted with his performance. He played really well.

“With the situation we have right now, we need players from the academy. We have just 13 players fit. With the problems we have up front, he will stay with us. We will use him.

“We cannot forget, like with Phil, he is only 17 years-old. He has a lot of things to improve. We cannot anticipate the progress of every young player.

“We’ve had Phil, Eric, Liam and we have Cole Palmer, who will be an exceptional player.

“We congratulate the academy. I am the last step, but before there are a lot of people in the club working for this and it is a big success for them. Jason Wilcox is the academy boss who helps us have these players. That’s why you have the Academy. When you need players we can use it. It depends on the quality of the player.

“When they have desire, work ethic and the quality is good, they will have chances. Tommy played incredibly well as a holding midfield. Taylor as well. These guys did not play one game of the last three months.

“This was the first 90 minutes. They played a team who were in the Premier League last season and top of the Championship right now.

“I would say congratulations to the club for providing these players for us.”

Manchester City next face Leicester City in the Premier League on Sunday at the Etihad. 

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