Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed he only has 13 fit players ahead of their Premier League clash against Leicester.
For this reason, the Spaniard hinted at using academy players as they sort the fitness of a number of first-team players.
City were forced to rely on a host of young players for their 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup third-round match on Thursday night, and they impressively delivered.
“Am I happy? Definitely,” said Pep after the match.
“It was a good game, but all our young players played at a high level, Tommy, Taylor, Liam. All of them were really good.
“At 17 years-old, Liam is a different striker to what we have in terms of physicality.
17-year-old Liam Delap scores less than 20 minutes into his Manchester City debut.— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 24, 2020
He’s the son of former Stoke, Sunderland and Republic of Ireland midfielder Rory Delap 👶 pic.twitter.com/PhOtYDmtqR
“With the situation, we have right now, we need players from the Academy.
“We have just 13 players fit. With the problems we have upfront, he will stay with us. We will use him.
“We cannot forget, like with Phil, he is only 17 years-old. He has a lot of things to improve. We cannot anticipate the progress of every young player.
“We’ve had Phil, Eric, Liam and we have Cole Palmer who will be an exceptional player.
“We congratulate the Academy. I am the last step, but before there are a lot of people in the club working for this and it is a big success for them. Jason Wilcox is the Academy boss who helps us have these players.”
He however has hopes some might be able to pass the fitness test ahead of the current league leaders.
“We prepared for five weeks. At this club, excuses don’t exist. We have 13 players; we have to win the games.
“Now we recover and Friday before the game we’ll see the players more fit and ready,"
City will host Leicester at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.