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Thursday 27 April 2017

I was so happy after Manchester City's win over Burnley - Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has tried to move on from his controversial interviews following Manchester City's win over Burnley
Pep Guardiola has tried to move on from his controversial interviews following Manchester City's win over Burnley

Pep Guardiola has insisted he was "so happy" with Manchester City's victory over Burnley on Monday.

The City manager conducted a series of terse interviews after his side ground out a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium having played almost two thirds of the game with 10 men.

Guardiola complained about some of the decisions of referee Lee Mason but his manner sparked conjecture over whether something else might be bothering him.

He attempted to clear that up as he held a press conference to preview Friday's FA Cup third-round tie at West Ham.

Guardiola said: "We won playing for 65 minutes, 10 against 11, two days after playing at Anfield, so I was so happy about our victory, an important victory, as dropping points to Burnley could have made it difficult for our future.

"The players showed me many, many things. Sometimes I was wrong about my players, sometimes I want more and more of them, sometimes I am so demanding, and they showed me how good they are - how special they are for me, for the team and for the club."

Guardiola reiterated this sentiment when it was then suggested his demeanour did not give the impression he was pleased at the time.

He said: "I was so happy about how we won the game - we won a fantastic game. That is what it is."

Guardiola was then asked to clarify some remarks he made in an interview with NBC, which was aired on the same day as the Burnley game.

Many media outlets picked up on comments that Guardiola was already thinking about his retirement, but he was keen to stress this is not imminent.

He said: "I said in the interview I am not going to be training when I am 60 years old.

"But guys, I am 45! I am not going to retire in two or three years. I love my job and am in the perfect place to do my job, especially here in England.

"I won't be training at 60 years because I want to do something else in my life. I started playing football as a young guy and my whole career was on the pitch, so I want to do something else in my life. But not in the next three, four, five or seven years.

"Maybe it was inappropriate to say I am starting to say goodbye to my career, but I know what I am thinking about when I am going to retire."

Other comments which were seized upon were about how Guardiola viewed City as being behind the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona and Juventus, but he was speaking in a historical context.

He said: "When I said compare history and titles with United and Liverpool, Barcelona and Madrid, that kind of club, we are behind. If people don't understand that, I am sorry. In terms of just titles, we are behind other clubs in the last 20 years.

"But the moment I took charge of a club like Manchester City, or before in Barcelona or Munich, it is the most important thing in my life to try to help them, to get them better.

"In the last five or six years Manchester City have been the best club. They are the club who have achieved the most. In terms of targets of getting better, of growing, of achieving the most, they are the best in the world, by far.

"We are going to fight until the end of the season for all the titles, of course, but I never said this club is below the others right now.

"Always I will be grateful to the people who asked me to come here."

City sit fourth in the Premier League table, seven points behind leaders Chelsea, going into this week's break for the FA Cup, which is another of Guardiola's targets.

He said: "After what happened in the last game, with West Ham I will try to win that game. It's a Premier League team and away, so it's tough, but we're going to try in that competition."

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