MANCHESTER, England — Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he can understand Granit Xhaka‘s angry reaction to being booed by Arsenal fans.
And Guardiola has defended the Arsenal captain and has backed the Switzerland international to bounce back.
“We have to respect our supporters, it’s not easy sometimes,” said the City boss.
“I can understand Xhaka, the emotion of that moment. I don’t know what’s going on inside, sometimes I lose my emotions and cannot control myself but we have to try.
“I’m pretty sure Xhaka does the best for his teammates. He’s the captain because he is something special. Sometimes you lose control, it’s best to forget it and move forward, hopefully he can come back and show his is a special player.”
On Saturday, City face Southampton at the Etihad Stadium for a second time in five days after their 3-1 win in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
Southampton are looking for their first Premier League win since September — a run that includes a record 9-0 home defeat to Leicester.
“Of course we take a lot from it [the Carabao Cup game],” said Guardiola.
“The last 10 minutes they pressed high, the rest of the game they defended deep.
“We had problems creating chances and it’s five days ago. Maybe it will change, that’s up to Ralph [Hasenhuttl].”