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'Rest when you're retired' - Guardiola's warning for Man City trophy hunters

9:41 AM WAT 28/01/2019
Pep Guardiola, Man City
The Etihad manager knows his side face a challenging fixture list but says it is a privilege to be competing for a quartet of big prizes

Pep Guardiola has told his Manchester City stars they can take days off when they are retired as the Premier League champions chase success on four fronts.

City, third in the table, four points behind leaders Liverpool, travel to struggling Newcastle United on Wednesday night.

And, with their trip to Everton rescheduled for Wednesday, February 6 because of their involvement in the Carabao Cup final, City face a congested and challenging fixture list.

The Goodison Park visit comes between home clashes with Arsenal and Chelsea and Guardiola says his players - also in the hunt for the Champions League and FA Cup - should treat the flood of games as 'a privilege'.

Asked about the possibility of his players resting, Guardiola said: "We have a lot of games, so no way.

"It is what it is. But at the same time I tell them it's a privilege. If you believe it's a handicap, that's a big mistake. It's a privilege.

"When you are 35 years old you can have long holidays. No problem, you will be retired. Take a year for holidays. But for now it's a privilege. Take it, enjoy it. Next one, win again.

"The competition doesn't matter. Friendly game? Win again. Play good, prepare well. That's the only way. After, you work for the next season."

Guardiola, who saw his side brush aside Burnley to progress in the FA Cup at the weekend, is not taking the clash with Newcastle lightly, despite their preilous position one place above the relegation zone.

The Catalan insists the game could be a 'banana skin' for his side if they are not fully focused.

“I think no team is safe going to Newcastle,” said the City manager.

“We will go there first and then it’s time to think about Arsenal [on Sunday]. Next game is the important one."