Guardiola: Bayern must not ease off

The manager insists an arduous trip to Russia and the fact his side has already secured qualification must not be excuses to slow down.
Pep Guardiola has warned his Bayern Munich side not to ease off in its Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow on Wednesday.

The Bavarians have already booked their place in the knockout phase of the tournament and endured an arduous journey to reach Russia, with their initial flight delayed and training Tuesday canceled due to heavy traffic and torrential snowfall within the city.

Guardiola, however, says he will not accept any excuses for a substandard showing in Moscow.

"We must get used to the weather conditions quickly," the former Barcelona boss told reporters. "It was a long flight, but you can say the same about CSKA when they played us in Munich. We must be fully focused as CSKA are a well-drilled, professional outfit. They have some very good players and are strong at the back and in attack.

"They are good at moving the ball forward quickly. It won't be easy, but I think we should win. We have a number of injury problems and will be without a number of players but I will put out our best available team. I trust my players completely.

"Every game is different and it is impossible to repeat past performances. It won't be easy. We are already through to the knockout stages and there is a chance we may ease off. However, I don't want my players to do so."

Guardiola went on to identify winger Zoran Tosic, defender Sergei Ignashevich and striker Seydou Doumbia as the danger men for CSKA, and said he was relieved to hear Alan Dzagoev will be absent, after opposite number Leonid Slutsky confirmed the Russia international was "unlikely" to be fit.

"I know about Zoran Tosic and Sergei Ignashevich, who I think are excellent players," the ex-Spain international said. "Alan Dzagoev is a very good player, exceptional at reading the game and excellent at adapting to situations that he is presented with. If he is not able to play it will make our lives a lot easier.

"Seydou Doumbia scored in CSKA's last game against Spartak Moscow and he's a great player with an excellent eye for goal."

Slutsky, meanwhile, is hoping that CSKA will turn in a much-improved performance after being beaten 3-0 by Bayern at the Allianz Arena, but concedes that his troops are going up against the side he feels is currently the best in the world.

"I feel we can do a lot more than we did on match-day one," he said. "But I don't think that game will have much of an effect on the result here. Bayern have just won 3-0 in the league against last season's Champions League runners-up [Borussia Dortmund] and at present they are the best side in the world.

"Our aim is to give as good an account of ourselves as we can and play to the best of our ability. They will always make chances as they are able to create opportunities against any side in the world. We need to make sure we are better in attack, something that was lacking in the first match between the sides."