July 7, 2020 / 4:38 PM / a month ago

Guardiola urges Man City players to cut out sloppy mistakes

Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton v Manchester City - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - July 5, 2020 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reacts, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Frank Augstein / Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has warned his players to cut out individual errors during the season run-in or risk elimination from cup competitions.

City have already clinched the League Cup title earlier this season and are hoping to end the season with a treble by lifting the Champions League and FA Cup trophies.

However, Guardiola believes his players have struggled for consistency in recent weeks, with a 1-0 Premier League defeat by Southampton on Sunday serving a timely reminder that they cannot afford to be complacent at this stage of the season.

“We are at the point where we sometimes make mistakes,” Guardiola told a news conference on Tuesday. “We have to avoid that. In some games the lack of goals punishes us as a team.

“We are in the semi-finals against Arsenal (in the FA Cup) and have Real Madrid (in the last 16 of the Champions League). If it’s like what happened against Southampton and other games this season... then we’ll be out.”

The drinks break in the Premier League was introduced along with a number of other guidelines for football to return following its suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But a host of Premier League managers have since suggested it has become more of a tactical time-out rather than a period for players to take on fluids.

Ahead of City’s league clash against Newcastle United on Wednesday, Guardiola said he was not in favour of the breaks remaining in the league next season.

“Would I like it to stay next season? No,” the Spaniard said. “We did it because of the lack of preparation for all the teams, we had just two or three weeks before the start of the competition and because of the weather conditions.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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