Pep Guardiola handed media duties to assistant coach Mikel Arteta ahead of Manchester City's Champions League opener against Lyon.
The City boss opted out because he is serving a touchline ban for the game at the Etihad Stadium as a result of his sending off in last season's quarter-final against Liverpool.
Arteta spoke confidently as City prepare for a campaign in which they are expected to excel.
Arteta said: "For me we have the best players in the world and I look at our players as if they are the best. I wouldn't change the players for any others. They are absolutely fantastic. The hunger is this group is incredible."
Arteta will take charge on Wednesday as Guardiola will not be allowed any contact with the players inside the stadium.
The Spaniard said: "Up to now the preparation has been completely normal. The difference tomorrow is we will have some rules you must respect. We can have no communication.
"It is a good challenge, a very nice challenge, but if I had to choose, I would choose Pep on the touchline, because he does that job better than anyone else."