Guardiola heaps praise on Fernandinho but admits he needs more defensive solutions

    Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted he won’t stop experimenting with his defensive strategies because Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho can’t play regularly due to their age

    The Spaniard deployed the Brazilian midfielder as a centre-back in City’s 3-0 hammering of Shakhtar Donetsk in the opening match of Group C to kick off the new Champions League campaign with a bang.

    With John Stones and Aymeric Laporte, both sidelined with injuries, Guardiola is left short of reliable defensive options and have to make improvisations.

    Waiting for the English defender to return to action, the former Barcelona manager has opted for Fernandinho to fill the gap, and the Brazilian refused to disappoint.

    “I didn’t have doubts [Fernandinho] could do it,” Guardiola told a news conference at Metalist Stadium, as transcribed by ESPN.

    But, well aware of their age, Guardiola has admitted he will continue to explore other options.

    “Nico is 31, Fernandinho is 34, and the next alternative is 18. For three or four months, I don’t know what will happen. We need another solution – Rodri or Kyle Walker maybe – because they cannot play every game at their age.”

    The Argentinean rearguard did well in Ukraine only a few days after his blunder cost the Citizens a shock defeat to Norwich City in the Premier League, and the manager was quick to hail his performance.

    “Both were incredible tonight. Nico showed incredible personality after what happened in the previous game.”


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