Pep Guardiola: Confidence is not a problem at Manchester City

Pep Guardiola defends persisting with Fernandinho in Manchester City defence

The centre-back admitted that he still needs time to recover, but appears to be slightly ahead of schedule for his return date.

Asked about his defensive pairing on Monday, the Spaniard said: "Right now it's because I like Dino in that position".

The reigning champions twice threw away a one-goal against Newcastle United, with goals from Jetro Willems and Jonjo Shelvey proving to be enough for Steve Bruce side to pick up a vital point in their hopes of survival.

He even suggested that the 34-year-old may continue in to play in defence in the future. "I prefer Gundogan and Rodri in this (midfield) position". The team is always there.

Former France Under-21 global Laporte has been a massive miss for City this season after being taken off on a stretcher during the 4-0 Premier League win over Brighton at the Etihad Stadium on August 31.

Gundogan will miss Tuesday's clash at Burnley through suspension and record goalscorer Sergio Aguero remains on the sidelines with a thigh injury.

Yet Guardiola is determined to fight on and recognises the importance of claiming victory against a tough Burnley side.

The injury to Aymeric Laporte early in the season could be pointed to as the defining moment in the collapse of Manchester City's title challenge, but in reality, they would have had to be essentially ideal in order to keep pace with Liverpool, who have collected 40/42 possible points and are heading towards a 100+ point season, which would be the best ever season in Premier League history.

He said: "They have to believe we will win tomorrow".

"I am not thinking about how many games we have to win, just try to win the next one", he added. We played well with the ball, we were solid, we conceded few counter-attacks, but football is how many goals you score and how you don't concede.

City have also dropped points against the likes Wolverhampton Wanderers and Norwich City, and Foden has admitted that the club's chances of retaining the Premier League title are out of their hands. What they do they do perfectly.

"Since last season, when Brendan Rodgers took over the team, immediately they changed the way they play and they [got] the results".

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