Pep Guardiola has refused to back down on his comments about Manchester City fans saying he hopes more fans attend their game with Southampton than the win over RB Leipzig - and says if there was a problem with supporters he would have no problem stepping aside.
38,062 fans turned up to watch City's 6-2 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League following which the Spaniard said the club needed more supporters to turn up for the weekend's Premier League clash with Southampton.
But his comments did not go down well with Kevin Parker, the general secretary of City's official supporters' club, who said Guardiola should "stick to coaching" as he "doesn't understand the difficulties" supporters face.
In response, 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 surprised about what happened with this man. It's not the first time I've said this in my career.
"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. Always I've said, guys if you want to join us I will be incredibly happy, because I know how difficult it will be. I prefer to be with my people than without my people. But if they don't come for any reason it's perfect.
"I never say 'Why didn't you come?'. Mr Parker should review the comments I've done the day after, but I will not apologise to him. The club is the most important thing and the most important part of the club is the fans. They sustain it. I love this club, I am part of this club. When people are not happy with me I will leave, that is for sure."
When asked if building a fan base will come with time, Guardiola replied: "This is a big mistake. We are who we are, we're proud of who we are.
"I know the history. I learned the history of this club, what it means to travel and follow this team. I don't want to be like United, Liverpool, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Madrid, like all the big clubs, we are who we are."