Manchester: Pep Guardiola insisted Friday he will be happy if Manchester City have no time for a mid-season break, because it will mean they are still competing for every trophy.
Guardiola did take his players to Abu Dhabi last March, after their surprise FA Cup fifth round defeat at Wigan left them with a free week. The City boss will consider a similar trip this time round if an early FA Cup exit leaves a gap in their match schedule.
But he acknowledged that it may be difficult to fit in such a break if City remain in the hunt for all four major prizes. “Hopefully not, because that means we continue in the FA Cup and especially in the Champions League. We will see. If not, then we will have this time in summer time,” Guardiola told a press conference. “Last season, it was quite similar. But then after Wigan beat us in the FA Cup, we went there (Abu Dhabi).”
City are still in contention for a quadruple of Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup titles, something that has never been achieved in the English game.
They took a significant step towards winning one of those trophies Wednesday, thrashing third tier Burton Albion 9-0 in the first leg of their League Cup semifinal. It means that, barring something extraordinary in the second leg January 23, City will feature in the final at Wembley, February 24.
That creates another barrier to a potential winter vacation as their league fixture at Everton, scheduled for the previous day, would have to be rearranged.
“Did you see the schedule this morning? I saw the schedule, and the Everton game will be fixed for another week, so we don’t have many (spaces in the schedule for a warm-weather break), so we’ll see,” Guardiola informed.
City, having taken a step towards a Cup final, resume their attempt to catch leaders Liverpool in the Premier League title race, Monday, when they host Wolves. Currently they are four points behind Liverpool. Guardiola however, rejected the suggestion that he is happier chasing than leading. “I prefer to be in Liverpool’s position,” he said.”