Pep Guardiola has said he is happy for his Manchester City players to change in the bar ahead of their FA Cup tie with Cheltenham (Saturday at 12.30 p.m. ET, live on ESPN+) but has asked the hosts to make sure they do not leave any beer lying around because he wants his squad to be “in perfect condition.”
COVID-19 protocols means Guardiola and his players will have to prepare for the fourth round fixture in the bar area at Whaddon Road and the City manager does not want any distractions.
“Please, only I ask Cheltenham; do not leave beers in the bar before the game,” Guardiola laughed at his news conference on Friday.
“We will be delighted to change in the bar but no alcohol there because we want to win the game and be in perfect condition.”
Guardiola will be without Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Kyle Walker against Cheltenham, who are sixth in League Two, but the Spaniard is set to field a strong team as he looks to extend their winning run to 10 in all competitions.
The City boss has also warned his players that the unusual dressing room will be no excuse if they do not go through.
“Everyone comes from the lower divisions or do you believe when we are Under-16 or Under-18 we fly in private jets?” Guardiola added.
“We play in these stadiums all our careers, we don’t play in big stadiums all the time, we came from Cheltenham. People cannot forget that and it is a pleasure to play there.
“We were lucky to have success in our profession and go up the divisions but we were there many times and we changed in bars as boys and we play football with incredible joy.
“We love this game and we change in these changing rooms for most of our careers most of the time.”