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Sunday 23 October 2016

Manchester City's hot start not enough for perfectionist Pep Guardiola

Published 16/09/2016 | 16:36

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is demanding improvement from his side
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is demanding improvement from his side

Pep Guardiola has warned Bournemouth he is far from satisfied with Manchester City's exhilarating start to the season.

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City have won all seven of their games since Guardiola took over as manager in the summer and their football has, at times, been spellbinding.

Yet as good as they have been - particularly against Manchester United last weekend and Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday - Guardiola is demanding improvement.

The Spaniard, whose side host Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, claims he can never be truly happy with a performance.

Guardiola said: "After (a game) for half an hour, one hour, sometimes three or four hours we are so happy - but after that you start to think again about the next one, you start to worry about the strikers of Bournemouth and how they play.

"I saw their game against West Ham and they were unlucky and they played really, really well against United in the first 30 minutes. They were perfect on the pitch.

"I'm not thinking about what we did in the past, our four games in the Premier League, our three games in the Champions League. I'm thinking about what's going to happen tomorrow - what I have to tell, what I have to do, what do I have to train for them to be ready for our game.

"The Premier League is so difficult because you play so many complicated games. Any team can beat you and I have felt that. Tomorrow I am going to feel that."

Guardiola, who won a combined 21 trophies in spells in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, has made an instant impact at the Etihad Stadium.

He expects the improvement to continue sharply in the short term but, even after that, he says the process is always an ongoing one.

He said: "With my staff, the only demand is to work a lot. The reason they got it quick is because they are intelligent players.

"But we cannot forget where we are now - we are in September. It's an opportunity to improve. In the recent past we did some good things but there are still many things we can do better.

"We will probably have things to improve even two years from now - but so far we are happy."

Guardiola is likely to be without playmaker David Silva for the Cherries clash but is unsure whether Ilkay Gundogan should continue in his place.

Silva pulled out of the Champions League victory over Borussia with a minor injury but, while Gundogan impressed on debut as his replacement, the German is easing back into action after a five-month lay-off.

Guardiola said: "I don't know, I've been thinking about it since two days ago. He played good but we cannot forget that he comes from a long-term injury.

"We will see tomorrow. Today we are going to see the doctor and we will decide."

Guardiola, speaking at a press conference at the City Football Academy on Friday, was fluid in his answers - until the subject of Jose Mourinho arose.

Since arriving at City, Guardiola has played down his past rivalry with the United boss and he did not want to engage when asked about recent remarks by Roy Keane.

Former United midfielder Keane, in his role as a TV pundit, suggested Guardiola should be regarded as the 'Special One' and not the Portuguese.

When asked if he had any comment, Guardiola said: "Nothing."

Press Association

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