Pep Guardiola looks ahead to FA Cup clash with Fulham
(Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has described the FA Cup as an 'important' competition ahead of his side's Fourth Round clash with Fulham this weekend.

This comes days after the Spaniard questioned the hectic English football schedule, however the FA Cup seems to sit extremely high in Guardiola's priorities:

"Hopefully we can be ready because it is a final. The FA Cup is an important competition and a traditional competition and we will have to try to do our best." 

  • Pep welcomes winter break

After openly criticising the timetable in the English game, Guardiola gave an insight into his plans for the upcoming winter break: "We will have a few days off then we will have to train again. Three or four days then we will train again to prepare for Leicester, Madrid, Arsenal and the future." 

  • Fulham set to be tough test

Ahead of Sunday's meeting, Guardiola was full of praise for Scott Parker's side: "What I saw [of Fulham] is a really good team I like the way they play and their results speak for themselves. It's not easy to be relegated then the year after being up there so I think it speaks a lot about the manager and the team."

The Blues boss was also questioned on his team selection for Sunday's clash, however he stated the competition and opponents do not influence his plans:

"When the team is fit it doesn't matter who plays, the selection is good. I will always pick a team because they have the obligation and the responsibility to try to win the game, it doesn't matter about my selection."

  • Harwood-Bellis part of Pep's plans

After City youngster, Taylor Harwood-Bellis scored his first ever senior goal in the previous round win against Port Vale, Guardiola commented on a potential loan deal for the 17-year-old:

"I think he is going to stay until the end of the season because we need him for the second team. I don't know if he has offers, if he had an offer from the Premier League maybe we could consider it for his development as a player."

The City manager also gave an update on the fitness of his squad, stating that everybody bar long-term absentee, Leroy Sane was fit for Sunday's Fourth Round clash.