Pep Guardiola has been slammed by Manchester City’s official supporters’ club.
The Man City boss criticised the attendance for Sunday’s FA Cup win over Fulham at the Etihad.
The 4-0 success drew a crowd of 39,223, the third-highest in the competition over the weekend, but Guardiola had questioned his own supporters.
City return to action when they take on Manchester United in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday.
“Motivation was right and hopefully in the next game against United, our fans can come and make the stadium full,” he said.
“It was not full. I don’t know why. [Wednesday] gives a chance to go back to Wembley. Hopefully they will support us more.”
But the club’s official fans’ group has hit out at Guardiola for being out of touch with life as a supporter.
General secretary Kevin Parker said: “Questioning the loyalty of City fans who went 35 years without a trophy – supporting them through lots of thin times – is not for me.
“Fans have purchased tickets for both the League Cup semi-final and the Real Madrid tie. While the match was well-priced, it wasn’t a season-ticket game so fans had to dip into their pockets.
“I absolutely love Pep, he’s the best thing to ever happen to the club from a football point of view. But this sort of thing will alienate fans who work very hard to buy tickets.
“We feel unjustifiably criticised by other clubs, so for our manager to have a go at us as well makes it worse. I’d suggest he’s not in touch with the financial reality facing football fans.
“Pep has to accept that this is a working class group of supporters who spend a lot of their money on football, so stop beating us up about it.”