Guardiola says his players will give everything to win FA Cup final
Pep Guardiola has promised Manchester City fans his side will “give everything” to beat rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final.
The neighbouring clubs clash in the competition’s Wembley showpiece for the first time as the domestic season reaches a mouth-watering climax on Saturday.
There is plenty of incentive for City as they look to claim the second leg of the treble and move a step closer to matching United’s 1999 haul of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League trophies.
Yet even just taking the game in isolation, City manager Guardiola is well aware of how much simply beating United in a major final — after plenty of suffering at their hands in the past — would mean to supporters.
With that in mind, and his players fully focused, Guardiola has urged fans to savour the occasion.
He said: “I will ask to our fans, behave properly first and, secondly, go there to enjoy an incredible event, knowing the players will give everything to beat Man United.
“The consequences and the result, who knows it? I don’t know it. (United manager) Erik ten Hag doesn’t know it.
“It’s a football game. Enjoy the moment and enjoy next week to prepare for the (Champions League) final, to dream of seeing the team. It’s the best way.
“You have to understand anything can happen but we are going to do everything to beat United.
“I understand completely for City fans, who were in the shadow for decades behind United.
“We’ll try to do the best game as possible. So I would say have fun, enjoy the right portion of beers before the game and, that’s all. Enjoy it.”
The fact City are bidding for the treble could also give United extra motivation, however, as they not only look for a derby cup triumph but to preserve the uniqueness of their club’s own achievement 24 years ago.
“I could understand that, it belongs to them,” said Guardiola. “That’s normal. Sport is like that. It’s completely understandable.
“But it’s a football game. Who will be better will win.”
After an intensive schedule in the closing weeks of the Premier League season, City have had a full week to prepare of the fixture.
Guardiola even had time to attend a Sir Elton John concert in Manchester while some of the players went to watch Coldplay at the Etihad Stadium.
The City boss has no doubt the mental break has done his players good.
He said: “When you have these events in this city – and one of the legends, Sir Elton John – you have to use them.
“They’ve trained really good these last two training sessions. There’s a good mood in the locker room and on the pitch.
“We know what we are playing for. I don’t have to tell them. It is the final of the FA Cup against United, the chance to add another trophy. This is the mentality we have right now.”