We never give up - Pep Guardiola defends misfiring Manchester City stars

Pep Guardiola defends persisting with Fernandinho in Manchester City defence

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he is not thinking of switching midfielder Fernandinho from his new role in central defence, despite John Stones and Nicolás Otamendi both being fit and available for selection.

Aymeric Laporte is cracking on with his recovery.

"Last year was quite similar when [Liverpool] had a similar lead but we still have time this year to recover, to catch them and to again try to win the Premier League, so we hope we can do that".

City were twice pegged back during Saturday's 2-2 draw at Newcastle United, leaving them third in the table and 11 points behind leaders Liverpool after 14 games. Instead he intends to stick with 34-year-old Fernandinho as his first-choice centre-half. "I prefer Gundogan and Rodri in this (midfield) position".

Asked why Stones and Otamendi are not trusted together, Guardiola said: "Because I like 'Dinho playing in that position a lot".

City have failed to keep a clean sheet in their past seven matches. Of course, it's not good for us.

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Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane are out for the Burnley clash with injury, while Guendogan is suspended, having racked up five yellow cards.

Manchester City have not started off that well in the Premier League and it has become very hard for them, who will have to continue winning to try and achieve a miracle. The Clarets have scored six of their goals from set plays this season. That is the fact.

"I think at the end of the season we are going to decide on the situation - the players who finished their contracts, the players with full contracts, what we have to do, what we believe is the best for the club and organisation for next season".

Stones said: "We need to look at our game and see what we did wrong".

"Normally the players we could think it would be interesting to add something for our squad, they are not going to sell it". 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.

PEP It's hard for all the teams (who visit Burnley). They take care of themselves perfectly and are an incredible unit.

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