Manchester City facing late-night Newcastle travel woes

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Pep Guardiola has revealed that Manchester City will be forced to return from their Carabao Cup tie against Newcastle United on Wednesday night by bus because there are no trains or planes.

City’s game at St James’ Park will finish around 10pm UK time — unless a penalty shootout is required — before the squad begin their 140-mile journey to Manchester.

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The trip will take around three hours, much longer than if the City were able to follow their normal plan and complete the journey by plane.

“We can’t get back on the plane because of a problem with something for the planes,” Guardiola told a news conference on Tuesday.

“We don’t have a plane to go back, so we have to take a bus, it’s two or three hours later, we arrive here. [in Manchester] So, so late and on Friday we travel to Wolves.”

The players are expected to return to Manchester around 2am on Thursday before training at the City Football Academy. City’s next game is against Wolves at Molineux on Saturday and the long journey will affect Guardiola’s preparations as his side look to continue their perfect start to the season.

“I don’t know what happened,” added Guardiola.

“The team manager told me it happened earlier, I think in London. It’s not a problem with the bus but we arrived later than we expected but it is what it is.”

Guardiola has confirmed that Calvin Phillips will start against Newcastle as he looks to cope without Rodrigo, who is serving a three-match suspension following his red card against Nottingham Forest.

Phillips has started just four games since his £42million move from Leeds United more than a year ago and has been linked with a move away from the Etihad ahead of the new season.

“He decided to stay,” Guardiola said.

“The club spoke to him and he didn’t have many minutes, he said no I want to stay. It’s perfect, he’s a lovely man.”

“He’s open-minded, always wants to learn and always wants to help, and that’s what we try to do.”

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