Pep Guardiola admits he was disappointed to see Paul Pogba ruled out of next weekend’s Manchester derby.
Pogba is suspended for Sunday’s clash between Manchester City and Manchester United after the French international was sent off during United’s win at Arsenal.
But rather than be happy at Pogba missing the encounter between the Premier League’s top two, City boss Guardiola says he would have liked to see the best players go head-to-head.
Guardiola said “I would like Paul to play [because] I like to face the team with the best players as [much as] possible, to see if (we are) able to beat them.”
City will head into the derby with an eight point lead over United after they again left it late to secure victory on Sunday, against West Ham.
The struggling Hammers took a half-time lead through Angelo Ogbonna, but Nicolas Otamendi drew City level early in the second half, before David Silva grabbed an 83rd minute winner.
“I would prefer we had the game won before the last moments, but the Premier League is the Premier League,” said Guardiola.
“I understand and I don’t judge if a team just want to defend, so it’s difficult to attack them. Even in that situation we have to learn how to attack that position.
“We started well in the first 10 minutes of the game, but we didn’t create and weren’t able to find right place and right position.
“We made some more quick attacks and excited our fans after the break and we scored the goal, which is important.
“West Ham didn’t want to play, they took time, so we had to be patient.”