CHICAGO, Illinois -- Pep Guardiola admitted he was worried about some of the strong tackles in Manchester City's first game of preseason, a 1-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the International Champions Cup.
The City manager is without much of his first team after 16 of last season's title-winning squad were called up to the World Cup and given extended time off for the new season.
Guardiola may have to use some of his fringe players for the Community Shield game against Chelsea on Aug. 5 and Premier League opener against Arsenal eight days later.
But he could have been left with fewer options after robust challenges on club record signing Riyad Mahrez and young striker Lukas Nmecha.
"That's why there's a referee. It is their job," he told a news conference. "Yeah I'm worried but it is what it is. We try to play with it.
"In some minutes we started good and after we had a few problems. We missed the ball in some situations and they used the counter-attack."
Guardiola was forced to pick a mixed team that included youngsters and a number of players that spent last season out on loan including Joe Hart, Jason Denayer and Patrick Roberts.
Hart has been at City for a decade but featured in his first game since August 2016 after spells with Torino and West Ham.
"Nobody can doubt his quality as a goalkeeper, what he has done in the last 10-12 years," Guardiola added. "We're looking to decide if he's going to stay or leave, we will see at the end of preseason.
"We had just one week or 10 days together. Most of them played together for the first time so they did many many good things. It was really good for their futures because we played one of the best teams in Germany and we did many good things.
"We spoke while we worked in this one week and the courage, intensity and desire to play was very good. I'm so satisfied with the guys."
Mahrez, who is City's only signing so far this summer following his £60million move form Leicester City, came closest to scoring with a freekick that was well saved by Dortmund keeper Marwin Hitz.
"Riyad played good in the first game," Guardiola said. "All the players did very good things.
"That's why we of course prepared to win. It's normal in this part of the season, it just prepares the team. They are coming back step-by-step."