Pep Guardiola: Manchester City Boss Still Playing Big Role Despite Back Surgery Says Assistant2 min read
Pep Guardiola is still very hands on despite rehabilitating at home following back surgery, says Manchester City assistant manager Juanma Lillo.
Guardiola, who had the operation in Barcelona earlier this week, will miss City’s next two games.
Lillo will deputise for the manager for Saturday’s trip to Sheffield United and Fulham’s visit to Etihad Stadium on 2 September.
“The contact is continuous,” Lillo said.
“Pep is watching Sheffield [United] right now. What’s important is his health. It doesn’t keep him from being who he is. He’s fully focused on the match.
“He is telling us the surgery has been successful, his recovery has to take the necessary time. He feels fine.”
However, Lillo confirmed that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager will not take the team talk at Bramall Lane.
“We won’t do a video conference because Pep doesn’t want it,” Lillo added.
Lillo returned to the club this summer for his second stint as Guardiola’s assistant after spending 2022-23 in charge of Qatar outfit Al-Sadd.
City have won their opening two games of the 2023-24 Premier League season, beating Burnley 3-0 and Newcastle 1-0.
The Premier League champions added to their attacking options this week, announcing the addition of Jeremy Doku from Rennes for £55.4m on a five-year contract.
“The team is at a good level, you’ve seen him [Doku], he has specific qualities. He can definitely help,” Lillo said.
“Every time a new player arrives, we think they are going to bring something and help the team globally. It’s not about him and placing responsibility on him.”
Bernardo Silva, who signed a contract extension through to 2026 this week, is “good to go” after missing two games through injury and Lillo was full of praise for the Portugal international.
Lillo said: “Bernardo is that kind of player who, in order to look at his importance, you look at his past. His importance is plain to see.”