By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 12/01/18 10:58am
Pep Guardiola asked Bristol City whether the faded rugby lines on the Ashton Gate pitch are tactical aides, according to assistant manager Dean Holden.
The Manchester City boss invited Robins boss Lee Johnson, his staff and his players into the home dressing room at the Etihad following their 2-1 Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg win on Tuesday.
Holden says Guardiola praised the Championship side for their ability against the current Premier League leaders and Manchester United, who they knocked out of the previous round on a ground they share with Bristol Rugby.
Quoted in the Bristol Post on Thursday, Holden said: “We got invited in with Pep after the game. All the coaching staff went in there with Pep and his sporting director Txiki Begiristain was there.
“It was a great 15-20 minutes that we had with him. Pep was very, very complimentary, as was Mr Begiristain, about the way that we played.
“He was asking us little questions, like (about) the lines that we had on our pitch here at Ashton Gate. He asked us if it was a tactical thing that we use, and we said ‘no it’s plainly for the rugby markings’.
“He mentioned that he’d spoken to his players about what a good team we are. The way we’d gone up against previous Premier League teams, Manchester United included, and done very well.
“He was under no illusions that we’re a good team. For someone of his calibre to be speaking about Bristol City like that shows what a good season we’re having. He obviously knew a lot.”