Date: 17th September 2021 at 6:10pm
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“Football is nothing without the fans” reverberated around the footballing world during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

With stadiums returning to full capacity across Europe, it seems like football is finally returning to the norm.

This would come as a relief not only to loyal season ticket holders, but to football clubs as well.

Aside from the obvious financial benefits to clubs, supporters are vital to generating atmospheres and pushing their team to victory.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola recognises this, urging more supporters to come and watch them against Southampton.

The Catalan boss reacted to City’s 38,062 attendance in the Champions League and urged more fans to come to the club.

However his plea struck a poor chord with many City fans who were insulted by his demand.

Nevertheless, Guardiola has refused to apologise to any fans he may have alienated in his post-match interview, stating to Sky Sports News that his comments have been taken out of context.

Guardiola was disappointed by the number of empty seats at the Etihad for City’s game against RB Leipzig

Guardiola said: “Did I say after the game that I was disappointed that the stadium was not full? An interpretation is an interpretation.

“I am not going to apologise for what I said. What I said was we need the support. It doesn’t matter how many people come but I invite them to come and enjoy the game because we need the support.

“To misunderstand and put some words in my mouth I didn’t say, I don’t like it. I will never have a problem with my fans. If I have a problem I will step aside, I am one of them. Since day one I’ve tried to do my best.”

City take on Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday where they will be hoping to secure a fifth consecutive victory in all competitions.

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