PEP GUARDIOLA admitted Raheem Sterling was not happy at being left out of Manchester City’s squad at Fulham on Saturday.
But the England ace reacted in the right way – and will be on the flight to Hungary for tomorrow night’s Champions League game with Monchengladbach.
Sterling was a surprise absentee from the 20 man City matchday party at Craven Cottage – leading to social media reports he had been involved in a bust-up with his manager.
That prompted the former Liverpool man to go on to Twitter on Sunday evening with a firm rebuttal of the stories.
Guardiola’s explanation was that while he has a fully fit squad and there will have to be one or two players who miss out each game.
Asked about Sterling on Monday, Pep said: “He travels with the team to Budapest, of course. Always Raheem and all the players train and react well.
“I don’t expect them to be happy the guys who don’t play and not selected. It’s normal since football was created.
“But he’s so important for the team and for all of us.
“All the players respect my decisions, of course. In my 40 years in the game there is not one player who is not happy when he does not play – but they react really well.”
Asked about his thoughts on Sterling going public to deny the rumours, Guardiola said: “He doesn’t need to do it. Nothing happened. He was not selected, that’s all.
“I understand completely when they don’t play. In that Fulham game he was not selected but in another game it was other players.”
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City are chasing glory on four fronts this season and defender Oleksandr Zinchenko said he could see ‘hungry eyes’ in the dressing room at the prospect of a quadruple.
But Guardiola slapped him down, saying: “I am older than Mr Zinchenko, I have more experience and I don’t agree with him.
“The only thing he has to be worried about is trying to do a good game tomorrow and try to go through. This is the only way.
“Four titles is a utopia. It never happened before and I think it’s never going to happen.”
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