Cape Town - Pep Guardiola reportedly rejected the opportunity this week to take his players away on a warm-weather training break.
There was a rare fixture-free opportunity to fly out to Abu Dhabi but
the Manchester City chief felt his squad would be better served
spending time with their families, following a recent brutal run of
City players returned to training on Thursday after being given two
days off, with Guardiola wary of letting the intensity levels drop too
much after returning to the Premier League summit last weekend.
The Catalan may also have noted how title rivals Liverpool have
struggled to recapture their best form after visits to Dubai and Spain
in recent weeks.
However, some eyebrows were still raised at Guardiola's stance, with
his team remaining in the hunt for a quadruple of trophies this term and
a mounting injury-list.
City are currently without midfielders Fernandinho and Kevin De
Bruyne, plus central defenders Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, which
has stretched even the vast resources at the Etihad.
The Manchester giants could end up playing 14 games more than
Liverpool before the season ends and Guardiola doesn't want to hand his
players any excuses for tiredness and to keep their focus.