26 Sep Man City facing late-night Newcastle travel woes
City’s game at St James’ Park will finish around 10 p.m. UK time — if a penalty shootout is not required — before the squad embark on their 140-mile journey back to Manchester.
The trip will take close to three hours, much longer than if City were able to follow their usual plan and complete the journey by plane.
“We cannot come back by plane because of a problem with something for the planes,” Guardiola told a news conference on Tuesday.
“We don’t have planes to travel back, so we have to take a bus, it’s two or three hours later, we arrive here [in Manchester] so, so late and on Friday we travel to Wolves.”
The players are likely to get back to Manchester at around 2 a.m. on Thursday morning before training at the City Football Academy. City’s next game is against Wolves at Molineux on Saturday and the lengthy journey back will impact Guardiola’s preparations as his team look to continue their perfect start to the season.
“I don’t know what happened,” added Guardiola.
“The team manager told me it happened in the previous one, I think in London. It’s not a problem with the bus but we arrive much, much later than we expect but it is what it is.”
Guardiola has confirmed Kalvin Phillips will start against Newcastle as he looks for ways to cope without Rodri, who is serving a three-match suspension following his red card against Nottingham Forest.
Phillips has started just four games since his £42 million move from Leeds United more than a year ago and was linked with a transfer away from the Etihad ahead of the new season.
“He decided to stay,” said Guardiola.
“The club spoke with him and for the fact he had not many minutes, he said no I want to stay. It is perfect, he is a lovely person.
“He is open-minded, always wants to learn and wants to help and this is what we want to try to do.”