An attendance of 38,062 watched Man City’s 6-3 win over RB Leipzig on Wednesday. Also, Pep Guardiola called for more to attend the Premier League match against Southampton.
Pep Guardiola says he will not apologize for urging more Manchester City supporters to attend Saturday’s match against Southampton.
An attendance of 38,062 watched City’s 6-3 win over RB Leipzig on Wednesday. Also, afterward, Guardiola said the club “needs” more supporters to attend Saturday’s 3 pm kick-off against Southampton at the 55,000-seater Etihad Stadium.
The comments irked the general secretary of City’s official supporters’ club, Kevin Parker, who said Guardiola should “stick” to coaching as he “doesn’t understand the difficulties” supporters face.
Parker also pointed out City’s two Premier League home attendances so far this season, against Norwich (51,437) and Arsenal (52,276), have been close to capacity.
In response, Guardiola said: “Did I say after the game that I was disappointed that the stadium was not full? An interpretation is an interpretation.
“I am surprised about what happened with this man. It’s not the first time I’ve said this in my career.
“I am not going to apologize for what I said. What I said was we need the support. It doesn’t matter how many people come but I invite them to come and enjoy the game because we need the support.
What he has said:
“Always I’ve said, guys if you want to join us I will be incredibly happy because I know how difficult it will be. I prefer to be with my people than without my people. But if they don’t come for any reason it’s perfect.
“I never say ‘Why didn’t you come?’. Mr. Parker should review the comments I’ve done the day after, but I will not apologize to him.”
Asked if building a base will come with time, Guardiola replied: “This is a big mistake. We are who we are, we’re proud of who we are.
“I know the history. I learned the history of this club, what it means to travel and follow this team. Also, I don’t want to be like United, Liverpool, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Madrid, like all the big clubs, we are who we are.
“like it. To misunderstand and put some words in my mouth I didn’t say, I don’t like it. I will never have a problem with my fans. If I have a problem I will step aside, I am one of them. Since day one I’ve tried to do my best.
“I like to play at the stadium with my fans. It was a tough game against Leipzig. I was exhausted, I saw my team in the locker room how difficult it was, and at that moment I was thinking it’s Southampton in three days, and I said come to join us, come to do it together, come to beat the team of Ralph [Hasenhuttl] because I know how difficult it will be.
“This is my message, but if this guy wants to misunderstand my comments, this is a problem, but I’m here to defend what I said. If I make mistakes I’m here to say I’m sorry, but in that case, I will not apologize. It’s to be part of something and do it together. I like the fans we have.”