Football Soccer Man City boss Guardiola warns it is too soon
Football Soccer Man City boss Guardiola warns it is too soon

Football: Soccer-Man City boss Guardiola warns it is too soon to dream about double treble

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – While Manchester City midfielder Bernando Silva said he and his team mates are motivated by the possibility of winning their second consecutive treble, manager Pep Guardiola cautioned against dreaming too far ahead.

City host Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Wednesday at the Etihad having overcome them in the semi-finals last season on their way to winning the competition for the first time.

They also lead the Premier League standings and are in the final four of the FA Cup.

“I am not going to say ‘don’t feel this’ to my players, but I have a different opinion. We are far away from those hypothetical dreams,” Guardiola told reporters on Tuesday.

“When we are in the final of the FA Cup and two or three games (remaining) in the Premier League and in the final of the Champions League I will start to think about that.

“I started to think of the treble last season only when we beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final,” he added.

Guardiola’s team can book their spot in this year’s FA Cup final with a win over Chelsea in Saturday’s semi-final at Wembley. They also have a two-point lead over Arsenal and Liverpool in the Premier League with six games remaining.

City captured the treble — Champions League, FA Cup and Premier League — for the first time last season to match Manchester United’s treble win in 1998-99. No team has won it in consecutive seasons and no English side has won it twice.

Silva said being on the brink of history can drive the squad for the rest of the season.

“Obviously, it is an inspiration and motivation,” he said. “We want to create the legacy. We want four Premier Leagues in a row. We want the Champions League twice in a row and two trebles in a row.

“In one week we could be out of all the competitions. But we are fighting.”

Real Madrid and City slugged out a thrilling 3-3 draw in the first leg last week to leave the tie wide open.

City will have midfielder Kevin De Bruyne back after he sat out the match at the Bernabeu with an illness.

“When Kevin is present, everything is different because he is one of the best players of our generation,” Silva said. “When he is on a good day it’s difficult to stop him.”

Defender Kyle Walker is also available after returning to the bench for City’s 5-1 league thrashing of Luton Town on Saturday.

Former Barcelona player and manager Guardiola said he relished once again facing old rivals Madrid, who have an eight-point lead at the top of the LaLiga standings.

“Always has been and always will be (a big game),” he said. “It’s Real Madrid and in this competition it is always a big game. It’s special for me. Of course it is.”

(This story has been refiled to amend the day of week to Tuesday in paragraph 4)

(Reporting by Lori Ewing; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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