Manchester City's Fernandinho ready to battle through tiredness
MANCHESTER -- Fernandinho insists every player will be ready for Manchester City's FA Cup clash with Burnley if Pep Guardiola needs them.
The midfielder was one of a number of City's side to play every minute of a hectic Christmas schedule that saw them face four games in just 10 days.
Guardiola is likely to give a rest to much of his first team that helped extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 15 points but Fernandinho says he is more than happy to play on Saturday if required.
"We have three or four days until the next game so we will see what Pep is going to do but for sure every player is going to be ready if he needs them to play," Fernandinho told reporters. "We are here, we are professional -- and I don't like to rest.
"January is going to be tough, as December has been. We need all the players fit to play and we will miss Gabriel Jesus now.
"I am happy because John [Stones] and Fabian [Delph] are back, we will see when Vinny [Kompany] can come back. As soon as we can have the most players available, it is better for everyone."
City kicked off the New Year by returning to winning ways with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Watford. It came just two days after a frustrating 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace but it took just 39 seconds for Raheem Sterling to get their first goal of 2018.
"That's the way we try to start every game," Fernandinho added. "If we don't have the ball we try to press high and recover as soon as possible. When we have the ball, we try to find space for midfielders and strikers.
"They left some space for us and I think this gave us more confidence to control the game. We conceded some chances in the first half and they could have scored some goals but generally we controlled the game so well with counter-attacks and long balls.
"We are happy to win the game. We started 2018 in the best way possible in front of our fans playing good football. We have a gap where we play both cups. We have to concentrate on them and try to be ready when we get back in the Premier League.
"It is not easy to open that gap, especially in the Premier League. You know how tough the Premier League is to play but you know you cannot relax. You have to go the same way every game against every opponent and try to get the most amount of points possible."
As well as Stones and Delph returning to the starting lineup, City were boosted by having Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva available.
De Bruyne was taken off on a stretcher in the game with Palace but made a quick recovery to face Watford while Silva was back after missing the last two games for "personal reasons."
"It's good to have them back playing together," Fernandinho added. "Since the beginning of the season they have played most of the games and done very well.
"They look like twins. They know each other for a long time. It is nice to see them playing the way they are playing now. I am so happy for them because they can score and assist and that's good for them and especially for the team."
Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.