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Pep on Solskjaer, De Bruyne and Mahrez

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06: Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City speaks with Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Manchester City at Goodison Park on February 06, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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Pep Guardiola has sympathised with his Manchester United counterpart Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is under pressure following the poor run of results.

Solskjaer’s men recently trounced 4-0 at Goodison Park, United’s worst result since 2016.

Ahead of the Manchester derby encounter, Guardiola weighed into the matter when he was asked about Solskjaer’s situation.

“In our world, our position, I’m close to Solskjaer,” said Guardiola. “I understand perfectly his position.

“We feel alone and that’s why I understand completely his position. It happens to all the managers around the world. That’s the reality.

“I understand him perfectly. I support him.”

Man City will be without midfielder Kevin De Bruyne for the derby, the midfielder having suffered a hamstring injury in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Tottenham.

Guardiola is optimistic De Bruyne can play “one or two games” before the end of the season. He equally refuted claims on Mahrez exit this summer over a lack of playing time.

“Riyad will be with us for the next season here and the next one and the next one,” said Guardiola via the Mirror.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 20: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City receives treatment for an injury before being substituted during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on April 20, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

“I don’t need to speak with him.

“He will be with us next season. He is a player for us. We are delighted with him and the way he plays.

“He’s happy, we’re happy. Everyone knows the competition we have here.”