Pep Guardiola: I never meant to offend Manchester City fans for FA Cup attendance
Man City boss backs Klopp's FA Cup stance: "It is not necessary to tell us which players have to play the games"
Last Updated: 28/01/20 3:53pm
Pep Guardiola said it was never his intention to "offend" Manchester City fans after commenting on their attendance for Sunday's FA Cup clash against Fulham.
City's fourth-round 4-0 win over Fulham had a crowd of 39,223 at the 55,000-capacity Etihad Stadium.
Afterwards, Guardiola said: "Motivation was right and hopefully in the next game against United, our fans can come and make the stadium full.
"It was not full. I don't know why. (Wednesday) gives a chance to go back to Wembley. Hopefully they will support us more."
On Tuesday, speaking ahead of City's Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester United on Sky Sports, Guardiola said he understood some fans are under financial constraints.
"First of all of course I understand it. It was never my intention to offend them. They [the fans] are a part of us," Guardiola said.
"Since I arrived here until the last day I want to fight to play as well as possible and see the Etihad full for every game.
"It belongs to us to play good, to seduce them to come because the only reason why we do our job is not for the titles, it's to go to the Etihad Stadium and see it absolutely full, people together enjoying the games.
"Of course I understand that. It's difficult for the people to do that, it's not necessary to tell me because I was part of that when I was a little boy with mum and dad. I know exactly what happened.
"When I came here I learned how important the league and the cup is - more than the Champions League. It was my mistake that I thought, oh it's Sunday, today will be full. Of course people can decide [how to watch].
"I will try it again. To push them to be with us every single game. Full, full, full. It would be better, to do something for our people. It's so nice to have them there. I know for them it's not easy and that's why I will always be grateful for the support."
Pep backs Klopp's FA Cup stance
Meanwhile, Guardiola insisted coaches pick the teams after Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was criticised for stating he would field academy players in the FA Cup replay with Shrewsbury next week, which falls during their winter break.
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Guardiola said: "We accept the schedules and the competitions, games every two or three days, but don't tell the manager which selection [players] you have to choose please. It is our job.
"They do what they want to do and we'll be there. Which day, this time - we'll be there. But it is not necessary to tell us which players have to play the games. This is our duty."
'It's United - they can do it'
City hold a 3-1 lead over United heading into Wednesday's return leg, but with a place at Wembley on the line, Guardiola knows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side will not roll over.
"It's Manchester United. They can do it, they have done it," Guardiola said.
"In these kind of games against incredible teams with incredible history, they have pride and I know how difficult it will be to reach the final."