Man City 'so tired' and need fans' help to win title vs. United - Pep Guardiola
MANCHESTER, England -- Pep Guardiola has told his Manchester City players to forget about the emotion of a Manchester derby and focus on winning the title, adding that his players are "so tired" and need the help of the fans.
A victory in Saturday's clash against Jose Mourinho's Manchester United would see Guardiola's side claim the title with six games remaining. He said they were drained after their 3-0 Champions League quarterfinal first leg defeat to Liverpool and hinted he may make changes for the game.
"We are close to being champions. It's a coincidence because it's the derby but it doesn't matter. We just have to be focused on what we have to do to win the game," he told a news conference.
"We would like to feel that [atmosphere], support those guys because they deserve it. We defend the badge, the club the best way possible. We're so tired because United rested all week, that's why it'll be so important in the bad moments to feel our supporters are there."
Sergio Aguero missed the midweek defeat at Liverpool and Guardiola said he could be in contention to face United although he insists he has no concerns about Gabriel Jesus despite a disappointing performance at Anfield.
"I don't know right now. We have training this afternoon and we are going to see his physical condition," he added.
"Gabriel's so strong, he knows how we like him and support him. Gabriel is 21 years old, it was his birthday earlier in the week."
The City boss says his focus will switch to the second leg of the Champions League immediately after the United game and he insisted the tie is not over.
"We'll think about the Champions League immediately after Manchester United,' he said. "We want to create a good rhythm. [Liverpool] are almost qualified for the semifinals. It's almost closed but there is a little bit open. We are going to try.
"We are going to pick to win, there is no doubt, but there will be one eye on Tuesday. Whatever happens tomorrow we'll have six more chances.
"I'm not answering any questions about if we win. I'm focused on the game. The [fans] are going to be correct and hopefully nothing will happen.
"We have three massive games, with Tottenham too, with three days between the games. We'll have to see their conditions. We'll prepare the team to win the game."
Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.