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New diets, more freedom and less interfering - How Guardiola is fixing Man City's problems
The Etihad outfit suffered the most muscle-related injuries of any Premier League club last season.

PEP GUARDIOLA HAS explained measures he is putting in place in order to stave off as many injuries as possible at Manchester City.

City suffered the most muscle-related injuries of any club in the Premier League last season, something Guardiola describes as an “expensive” problem.

David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero all missed large parts of last season as they battled persistent problems.

There were also numerous other first-team players who would be unavailable for former manager Manuel Pellegrini’s selection due to strains or tears.

Guardiola has brought his backroom staff with him from Bayern Munich and they immediately set about changing the club’s approach in several different areas.

The players’ lounge at the Etihad Stadium has been moved and the squad are now encouraged to eat together after matches in a bid to regulate their diet, while certain foods such as pizza – a post-match staple in recent seasons – have been banned completely.

The squad are also allowed to stay at home with their families the night before home matches, rather than report to the training ground’s accommodation, in a move designed to change their relaxation habits.

Guardiola, who has anywhere between 10 and 20 staff with him on the bench on match days, believes that so far the results have been positive: “The most expensive thing for the club is the one player who is injured,” he said on Friday.

“One player can cost £70 million and a huge salary. But if he can play every three days, he is the cheapest player for the club.

We try to eat regularly here together. We try to emphasise on them the importance of resting properly. We work on regeneration. We have a lot of people on our staff just for that, to help the players to avoid becoming injured. It is going to happen, it’s impossible to avoid it completely, but until then, I am so happy, because we have had so few things.

“[Ilkay] Gundogan was injured, Vincent was injured. Maybe not Fernando, who had a problem against United, and David [Silva, who will miss Saturday’s game against Bournemouth]. Fabian Delph had problems, but the others, until now, have been good.”

Guardiola had a number of run-ins with his medical staff during his time at Bayern Munich, to the point where long-serving club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt quit last year and accused the Catalan of blaming him and his colleagues for a Champions League defeat.

Guardiola admits he does like to get involved in his staff’s treatment of the players, although he says also he is trying not to interfere too much.

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“All the places I’ve been a manager, all the physios and medical staff [do] absolutely everything,” he added.

I tried to be a little bit more involved, a little bit more present, because I’m curious about what they do, but I don’t like to feel that my physios and doctors can feel that I’m there.

“I’m concerned about that because I know how important that is. When you have one player you don’t have, it changes the world. They need to play. We need them. They are so important for us. The good players, the medical team, all the people involved there are so, so important.”

The City boss also admits he has had to change his training methods during his short time at the club so far.

The Catalan, who consulted a number of different managers and players about life in the Premier League before arriving this summer, is still getting to grips with the number of games in English football.

Barring international breaks, City will play a game every three or four days until the week before Christmas unless they are knocked out of the League Cup, and Guardiola says his players will work less in training in a bid to keep them in top condition.

“Here we have one cup more, starting next Wednesday at Swansea. During the games in Germany, it is so demanding as well, so physical. They run a lot for 90 minutes, and all the strikers as much as the midfield players or defenders. I think here the difference is more games.

“I asked a lot, and everybody told me that there are a lot of games. We try to give the players as much protection as possible, by training with quality. We don’t look for the big impact. We try to spend our energy during the game, not in training.”

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