Jack Grealish and John Stones agree on Guardiola's Man City selection decisions

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Jack Grealish and John Stones agree on Guardiola
Jack Grealish and John Stones agree on Guardiola's Man City selection decisions

Jack Grealish says Pep Guardiola is keeping his Manchester City stars on their toes with his constant squad rotation.

Grealish came off the bench to set up fellow sub Riyad Mahrez for the only goal in City's Premier League win at Chelsea on Thursday. Guardiola is set to make further changes for their FA Cup third round tie against Graham Potter's side, with Grealish admitting competition for places is what keeps the team hungry.

“You know, with the talent here, that you're never going to play in every single game,” said Grealish. “To be honest, the manager actually told Riyad to go and warm up but not me, so I've gone to warm up, thinking I'm not going to come on. Then, all of a sudden Riyad tapped me and said that we were going on, so I was ready to play against Chelsea.”

City defender John Stones echoed Grealish on the strength in depth and said: “I think it’s why we’ve been successful – especially new players coming in and buying into how we play and doing that really well.

“The depth of the squad has always been vital for us – everyone plays, everyone gets minutes, and everyone needs to know the roles and responsibilities. If that’s coming off the bench or starting, everyone did that so well and I think it proved that with Jack and Riyad.”

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Grealish, who is likely to start on Sunday, said: “At Chelsea we had a world-class starting 11, but sometimes the manager wants to change it up and he brought on subs. We made all five subs. We have a brilliant bench, a brilliant starting 11 and that's what you need if you're going to win titles and cups.”

Jack Grealish and John Stones agree on Guardiola's Man City selection decisionsRiyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish had to wait their turn against Chelsea (Matt McNulty/Manchester City)

City's hard-fought win at Chelsea cut Arsenal's lead to five points at the top of the table, with Grealish expecting Potter's side to try to frustrate them in their second meeting in four days.

“Recently we've played against teams that have had a back five and sat in against us,” said Grealish. "Just watching from the bench in the first half, you could see there was a lot of space, especially for the wingers.

“We're just concentrating on ourselves at the moment and trying to win as many games as possible. Going forward, we're just trying to put in good performances, win as many games as possible.”

David McDonnell

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