PEP GUARDIOLA admits Manchester City are facing a pitch battle in their bid to win the Quadruple.
The Spaniard is worried about the quality of the Etihad playing surface after a harsh winter in the North West.
Manchester City currently sit 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League table
Boss Guardiola fears the pitch, which has hindered his Prem leaders recently, could cause injuries or affect their displays as they chase trophies galore.
City, with a 14-point lead, will hope the grass is greener when they travel to Fulham on Saturday looking to take another step towards the title – which they are 99 per cent sure to win, according to probability statistics.
Guardiola said: “I’m not a greenkeeper. I cannot give you a solution or the reason why, but the reality is not good.
“Everyone knows it. We are going to try to find a solution like we have done since day one.*
“We know that the weather will change and the sun will not come but we have to find a way.
“For as much time as possible – the time from October until March – the grass can be better. And we need it to avoid injuries, for better football, for many reasons.
“I am pretty sure the club will do the best to try to find a solution as it always does.”
Asked how much of a worry it is, Guardiola said: “A lot. They are working a lot, we are trying to find a solution but the grass is not good.
Pep Guardiola has hit out at the Etihad pitch as he insisted it could cause injuriesCredit: Reuters
“I know the weather condition here in England is tough, but there are stadiums where the grass is good.
“We were in Budapest, and the grass was incredible, like a carpet, so it was amazing and our grass still isn’t good and we need it.”
As for the reason behind it – apart from the obvious weather issues in the city, Pep smiled: “Maybe it’s because our quality of football is so good it has destroyed the grass. That could be possible. I don’t know.”
City were due to do a complete rebuild of their pitch for the first time in a decade last summer – until Covid got in the way.
They did some maintenance work in April last year – but currently have the second oldest pitch in the Premier League.
Some reseeding work has now been done with City not due to play at home again until next month – while major work is planned for the close season, if restrictions are lifted.
Guardiola said: “I’ve been asking for five years and they give me the reasons and we say ‘ok this is what it is’ and we accept it.
“I cannot argue with them because I am not a greenkeeper. I don’t talk about anything that I’m not an expert. But the reality is the grass is not good and we are going to try to find a solution.”
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