Pep Guardiola: ‘Hold on to coaching’, fans tell Man City boss after asking several supporters to join games | Football News

Manchester City fans have told manager Pep Guardiola to “stick to coaching” after being “disappointed” by his call for more supporters to take part in home matches.

Guardiola said his team would “need” a bigger presence in the Etihad against Southampton at the weekend after seeing just over 38,000 of their 55,000 vacancies filled for the 6-3 Champions League victory over RB Leipzig.

But City City Officials club general secretary Kevin Parker wants Guardiola to pay more attention to the circumstances and insists the Spaniard “does not understand the difficulties” supporters are facing.

“[What he said] surprised me, “said Parker.” I do not know what it has to do with him. He does not understand the difficulties that some people may have in coming to a game in the Etihad on Wednesday night at. 20.00.

“They have children to think about, they may not be able to afford it, [and] there are still some Covid questions regarding. I do not see why he is commenting on that.

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“He’s definitely the best coach in the world, but in the nicest way I think maybe he should stick to it.

“It just takes the edge out of what was a good night. People talk more about Pep’s comments than a great game. Questioning the support, which is actually what he does, is disappointing and unsolicited.

“It also plays into the hands of supporters from other teams who want to take every opportunity to try City for what they think is the poor attendance.

“People refer to Etihad as ‘Emptyhad’. It’s a little funny by opposition supporters, but there’s no reason for it. It’s not factual. Our turnout is generally excellent.”

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After a resounding victory in their opening Champions League group stage, Guardiola said: “I would like more to come to the next match on Saturday.

“We’ll need the people next Saturday, thank you, because we’re getting tired. I invite all our people to come next Saturday, at 3 p.m., and watch the match.”

His comments further confused Parker because their two home visits against Norwich (51,437) and Arsenal (52,276) have been close to capacity.

“Of course he would have a full house, but I do not know why he would question whether we would have one against Southampton on Saturday. That is a different scenario,” Parker said.

“We have played two home games on Saturday and the stadium – at least from a city perspective, Norwich did not sell their full allotment – was full on both occasions.

“I do not think anyone in the club should question the loyalty of the supporters. It is frustrating.”

Watch free match highlights in Manchester City’s Premier League match with Southampton in the Sky Sports app from 17.15 Saturday.

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