Pep Guardiola was thrilled to have Kevin De Bruyne back on the pitch as his side beat Huddersfield Town 5-nil in their FA Cup third-round tie. The win saw the return of their inspirational midfielder after a long injury layoff. It could prove to be a pivotal moment as the champions begin their assault on the second half of the season.
Speaking following his side’s win Guardiola was pleased to have De Bruyne back. He said: “I am incredibly happy to have him back because Kevin helps you to win games. Kevin, Haaland, Phil… these guys win games – that’s why they’re so important for us.”
The City boss also spoke of the adulation the Manchester City fans have for the Belgian star. He added: “I’m pretty sure that in the last game, Kevin felt how the people love him and how our people are in love with him, and that mutual respect will be forever.”
Manchester City appear set to begin their assault on the second half of the season. It is traditionally the time when the champions begin to make their annual charge towards glory. With De Bruyne back and City having won their last 5 games in all competitions the treble winners appear set for a big second half of the season.
For Pep Guardiola he is just focusing on City’s next game against Newcastle United. He said: “We know we can’t drop points much, otherwise it will be more difficult – but now we have a final important game to play against Newcastle, then after that, we have two weeks to refresh our minds in training and go to Abu Dhabi with better weather conditions.”
The champions will now have a week to prepare for next weekend’s clash with Newcastle at St.James Park.