Saturday 28 September 2019 18:03, UK
Pep Guardiola has admitted that Manchester City "won't be able to buy in January" after injuries and departures have decimated his defensive options.
It began in the summer when long-standing captain Vincent Kompany left for Anderlecht before injuries in quick succession to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones saw Guardiola's centre-back choices significantly reduced.
But Guardiola - who has been playing defensive midfielder Fernandinho at the back alongside Nicolas Otamendi - insists that he will not be bringing in back-up when the transfer window reopens in a few months time.
When asked by Soccer Saturday, he said: "That is not my business but in January we are not going to buy because we don't have money to pay a huge amount in the summer so we cannot do it in winter.
"We are going to stick to the players we have, with [Taylor] Harwood-Bellis and Eric [Garcia] and with the new players in the academy. We have young, talented players and we can count on them.
"Vinny [Kompany] was an incredibly personality and he was incredibly helpful to me and the whole club, but he decided to go to Anderlecht and we have to move forward. That is what it is and so far, it has been perfect."
Two weeks ago, Man City were on the end of a shock 3-2 defeat by newly-promoted Norwich, but have hit back since with three successive victories and clean sheets, including a thrashing of Watford 8-0 last weekend.
Understandably, Guardiola is pleased with how his side have reacted, but is more concerned with how City have performed rather than results.
"It [the reaction] is good, but we knew our game at Norwich wasn't so bad," he added. "Sometimes in football, you lose games but the reaction was similar to the reaction in the last years, it was good.
"8-0 is exceptional, so it's not normal. It was a weird game and you don't have to take it like it's what we are or what we expect.
"Five goals with the first five shots on target is not normal, it happens once a season. It happened last season against Chelsea at home [when City won 6-0] so we learn from every game and try to do it better.
"I know for some people, the result is all that matters. It usually matters because you can have a job for the next season, that's why the results are important but what makes me realise who we are and where we are going for the future is the way we play.
"From the beginning of my career, I'm always concerned with the way we played. That will give us confidence to be strong as a team."