- Guardiola did not appreciate the criticism from a section of Manchester City fans
- The Spaniard initially urged City fans to turn out in larger numbers for their match against Southampton
- But City fans, through the general secretary of City’s official supporters’ club, slammed Guardiola’s comments as ‘uncalled for’
- Guardiola has since hit back, saying he was ready to step aside if some of his sentiments irked the fans
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City might have ran out comfortable winners on Wednesday, but their fans failed to fill up the stadium, with 38052 Manchester City faithful reported to have shown up for the side’s Group A opener.
Diego Simeone reveals how he spoke with Luis Suarez to make him persuade Messi join Atletico before PSG deal
After the game, Guardiola told BT sport that he “would like more people to attend” Manchester City’s upcoming Premier League cracker against Southampton.
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His plea has since attracted criticism from Manchester City fans, but the Spanish tactician maintains his initial sentiments.
Speaking during a press conference on Friday, Guardiola passionately defended his initial utterances, insisting that the fans decided how to interpret his plea.
“Did I say after the game that I was disappointed that the stadium was not full?" He said as quoted by BBC.
"An interpretation is an interpretation. I am not going to apologise. I know how difficult last season was, and we make an approach to do something together on Saturday.
"It doesn't matter how many come, I enjoy them. After five seasons they misunderstand me. I won't apologise."
Guardiola vs Man City supporters group
On Thursday, September 16, Guardiola’s comments were labelled by the general secretary of City’s official supporters’ club as “uncalled for”.
It's not factual, our attendances are generally excellent," Kevin Parker, general secretary of City's official supporters' club, said.
In his rejoinder, however, Guardiola maintained that he would never criticize fans for failing to attend football matches.
"I always say if guys want to come we will be incredibly grateful because I know how difficult the game will be and I know we need our people.
"I never sit here and ask why people don't come. If you can't come then don't.
In his sentiments, Guardiola also subtly hinted that he was open to stepping aside if the fans were against him.
"If it's a problem for fans, I will step aside. From day one, I do my best. I like to play at the Etihad with my fans... my intentions are to be part of something, to do it together,” he went on.
Ake loses dad moments after scoring
Elsewhere, it was not all joy for Nathan Ake despite scoring his maiden Champions League goal as the defender announced on Instagram that he had lost his father the same day.
Ake opened the scoring with a powerful header in the 15th minute in an enthralling Group A encounter.
Barely 24 hours after the game, the defender dedicated his goal to his dad, who had been ailing for weeks before his death.