Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and defender Eliaquim Mangala met with the assembled press on Monday afternoon ahead of City's Champions League clash Tuesday night with Feyenoord.
Next man Up
Pep confirmed that John Stones, who left City's match on Saturday injured, will be out for an extended amount of time.
“John will be out between for up to six weeks,” the manager said. “All of the month he will be out but hopefully he will recover well for start of January.”
Guardiola is not worried about the potential depth at the center back position, saying that many players i the squad can play in the position of need.
"We have Mangala, Vincent [Kompany] and Nico [Otamendi]. Kyle [Walker] can play in the middle, as can Fernandinho. If [Benjamin] Mendy was fit, he could play there. We will find a solution."
Stones' absence will be an opportunity for Eliaquim Mangala, the French centerback who has been sparsely used by Guardiola this season.
Mangala said: “I’m very realistic. I’m going to work and try to help my teammates. When you are in the squad, you have to help the team. We want to help City to win the title and win trophies."
Despite being on the bench for most of the season, Mangala was full of praise for his gaffer and all that he has learned under the former Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona manager.
"I’ve learned so much every day. It’s a different way to play. Strong passing, movement... our game is to be quick on the ball."
With the Citizens already qualified for the next round, fans might doubt the squads' hunger against a reeling Feyenoord side. Pep says there are still objectives to hit, as well as a possible introduction to City's future stars.
Guardiola said: "The first step we have done. We are already qualified, but for the draw for the last 16, you never know. It is better to play the second leg at home.
"Maybe Tosin Adarabioyo is another option. We will see. It depends on the players. We have Tosin, Brahim [Díaz] and Phil [Foden] training will us from the beginning of the season.
They have a chance to play, of course.”
Sacked, hugs and wine
When asked about the sacking of West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis, Pep was understanding of the situation but fond of good memories of meetings with Pulis.
Pep said: "A big hug for Tony Pulis. It’s so difficult now. We have to accept that. Everybody knows when managers don’t have results, a month later, they will be sacked.
"He is an amazing man and so gentle. Hopefully we can share a red wine in the future."
One of the few unanswered questions of Pep's tactics this season was about the use of strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus. More specifically, supporters wanted to know why the Catalan manager has been reluctant to play the Argentinian and Brazilians together in City's starting lineup since the early stages of the campaign.
"In that moment we had Mendy. When you have Mendy, he can play wide and the winger can go inside.
"[Fabian] Delph cannot do that. Without Mendy, Leroy Sane has to go wide, which is why they don’t play together.”