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Tuesday 17 October 2017

Pep Guardiola: I know I will be judged by trophies at Manchester City

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola recognises the importance of winning trophies
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola recognises the importance of winning trophies

Pep Guardiola accepts his first season at Manchester City will be considered a failure if he does not win a trophy.

Guardiola had huge expectations placed on him when he arrived at City last summer because of his past successes with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

His hopes of winning the Premier League this year seem remote with City trailing leaders Chelsea by 10 points with 11 games remaining.

But City are still alive in the FA Cup and Champions League and, even though Guardiola is prioritising team improvement, he realises the importance of silverware as a yardstick.

The Spaniard said: "If I have no silverware, I will not be here for a long time. No silverware - it will not be a good season. I knew that in August. Being a manager depends on results.

"I know how my standard is in the past about the titles and I know what is on my shoulders and I have to handle that.

"But I always believe deep in my heart that results depend on the way you play. That's why I need to be convinced that we're playing better every day.

"I would like to see my team playing better at the end of the season than at the beginning. It is good that the players in the last month have shown how close they are and what good team spirit they have.

"But I know we will be judged on the titles we have won. My period in Munich was judged like a disaster because we were not able to win the Champions League. I won three leagues in a row, we won two cups from three, we arrived every time in the semi-finals and finals, (but) it was (judged) a disaster.

"I have to handle that but what I can say is try to play better, better, better than the previous month. That's what I want to see for the next year - be better."

Guardiola realises the coming week is critical. City travel to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday before heading to Monaco for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday. They then face top four rivals Liverpool the following weekend.

He said: "It is an important week. We have done a good job in the past - especially in two competitions and we are doing quite well in the Premier League as well - but this week is so, so important. These three games will decide what's going to happen in the next two months, definitely."

Guardiola admits captain Vincent Kompany is itching to get back into action after a recent spell out with a knee injury. The defender is now back in training and could be in contention to return at Middlesbrough.

He said: "Now we have two games every three days. We have to see how he is but he wants to get in as soon as possible."

Striker Gabriel Jesus, who broke his foot last month, was seen out shopping on a mobility scooter this week.

Guardiola said in jest: "He has a licence for that car! In Brazil he took the test to drive this in the Trafford Centre."

Press Association

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