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Dunne: Guardiola's training programme at Man City has been affected by a hectic football schedule.

  • Former City central defender Dunne says sandwiching so many matches into such a short space of time has been detrimental to City's training programme.

  • Guardiola's Cityzens haven't spent enough time on the training field due to their busy football schedule, says former Man City centre-back.

The late start to the new season has been due to the coronavirus outbreak and games are coming really fast for most Premier League sides especially those involved in Europe.

Richard Dunne reckons Manchester City have not been able to prepare for games properly because of their hectic schedule so far.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the major reasons why the Premier League fixtures have been congested as the 2020/21 campaign resumed really late.

City's involvement in the Champions League hasn't helped matters as well, and with the Carabao Cup fixtures also added to the calendar, Cityzens legend Dunne believes the situation has limited the time Guardiola spends with his players on the training field.

“I know people say footballers prefer matches over training, but you need training,” the former Republic of Ireland international said as the club's official website quoted.

“And even now as the season is progressing, you’re not getting the time on the training field - everything’s either a game or travel.

“Players need training.

“If over the course of the last six weeks they have had maybe 20 sessions, that’s not what it would normally be (at this stage of the season).

“You’re catching up the whole time and the more games they play they’ll feel it in their legs more but, train hard to play easy - that’s more what it should be.”

The 41-year-old added: “We've seen the rise in Raheem Sterling and after games how Pep gets his arm around him.

“You know it’s important that Pep has time on the training field with these players.

“Ferran Torres is another person that he’d love to have more time with.

“Pre-season is so important too. You have hours of training, gaining an understanding that ‘OK if things don’t go well then you go to this system and adjust’.

“Then during games, if you need to adjust, it’s fluid.

“Pep is that way, you know he gets into players and gives them that fine detail.”

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