Manchester City’s Mendy must prove himself to play again – Guardiola

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MANCHESTER, England — Pep Guardiola has warned Benjamin Mendy that he will have to prove himself to get back in the Manchester City team despite admitting he is short of options at left-back.
Oleksandr Zinchenko has emerged as the first choice with Mendy, who missed most of last season with a cruciate knee ligament injury, playing just 27 minutes since November because of another injury setback.
But the Ukraine international appeared to suffer a hamstring injury in City’s 2-0 victory over Cardiff City on Wednesday, joining Fabian Delph who is already out.
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“It doesn’t look good [for Zinchenko],” Guardiola told a news conference. “Right now I don’t know, it doesn’t look good for the next games. Delph is out.”
Guardiola said ahead of the Cardiff game that Mendy was fit to play but he was not included in the 18-man squad.
Sources have told ESPN FC that there are concerns about the France international’s lack of professionalism and he was apparently spotted out in the early hours of Saturday morning, further risking Guardiola’s wrath.
“We’ll see tomorrow how he feels and how he trains,” the City boss said about recalling Mendy, 24, for Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal with Brighton. “We don’t have many options.”
He also admitted that it was a blow to lose Zincehnko, who has impressed in the left-back role in recent months.
“Zinchenko gives us a lot and he knows the way we play,” Guardiola added. “This kind of thing happens — he played a lot of minutes. You accept it and we are going to find a solution.
“Right now I don’t know which one. Danilo fought a lot to play in that position but it’s not his natural position. We’ll see the decision we will take for the semifinal of the FA Cup.”
Guardiola said it’s impossible for City to challenge for the quadruple without using his entire squad after he rested key players for the win over Cardiff.
Player of the Year candidates Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva were left on the bench while Sergio Aguero missed the game through injury as the City boss made seven changes from the weekend.