Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola claims he won’t apologise for urging more supporters to come to the Etihad Stadium for their upcoming match against Southampton.
The Spaniard said he “would like more people” for the Saturday encounter against the Saints, which brought him criticism from some of the club’s fans.
However, the City manager said he won’t apologise for that, insisting that his comments were misinterpreted.
He said (as per BBC): “Did I say after the game that I was disappointed that the stadium was not full?”
“An interpretation is an interpretation. I am not going to apologise. I know how difficult last season was, and we make an approach to do something together on Saturday.
“It doesn’t matter how many come, I enjoy them. After five seasons they misunderstand me. I won’t apologise.”
Kevin Parker (the general secretary of City’s official supporters’ club) showed astonishment by the manager’s comments and suggested he should keep to coaching only.
However, the Spaniard stressed that his remarks were misinterpreted.
The 50-year-old even went on to add: ‘If I am a problem with my fans, maybe I will step aside.’
In the same pre-match press conference, Guardiola also confirmed that defenders John Stones and Aymeric Laporte will not be available for the match against the Saints.
The two picked up injuries during the international break and also didn’t play in City’s 6-3 victory over RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
Stones hasn’t made an appearance for the Citizens so far this season, while Laporte partnered Ruben Dias in the previous three league matches for Manchester City.
Nathan Ake is likely to feature in the heart of the Sky Blues defence against Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side on Saturday.