Sunday 19 August 2018

Pep Guardiola warns of bumps in the road for fast-starting Manchester City

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola accepts his side will lose sooner or later
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola accepts his side will lose sooner or later

Pep Guardiola claims there is no chance of Manchester City going through the season unbeaten.

City lead the Premier League by five points after winning eight and drawing one of their opening nine games, scoring 33 goals in the process.

They are unbeaten in 13 games in all competitions this season and have equalled a club record by winning the last 11 of them in succession.

Comparisons are already being made with some of the great teams of the past, notably Arsenal's 'Invincibles' of 2003-04, but City boss Guardiola is not interested.

Guardiola said: "These kind of records, these kind of situations - I know people like a lot the statistics and to compare one to another one with titles, and I am happy for the 11 wins in a row because we showed that we can win a lot of games in a row. But that's all.

"To finish unbeatable, that is not going to happen because we are in a lot of games and a lot of competitions are so demanding, more than ever. To win (with) this kind (of record) sounds ridiculous.

"There will be a moment when we are going down. In that moment I am curious and I will test myself as a manager with the players and see how we are are going to react in that situation."

Guardiola related his team's situation to giants of the NBA basketball league.

"Even Golden State Warriors sometimes lose a game," he said. "Everybody loses games and, in our case, that is going to happen."

Guardiola is adamant, however, that he will not allow his players to become complacent.

"With me that is not going to happen," the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager said. "We are going to lose games, of course, but complacency, being (too) relaxed, is what we are not. That is not going to happen with me."

While City have earned plenty of plaudits for their free-flowing, free-scoring attack, their defence has also shown considerable improvement this term.

Key to that has been the arrival of Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson, who has brought more confidence to the back line.

"He is a guy who is so stable in the bad moments and the good moments during the game," said Guardiola of the 24-year-old. "He tries good in the build-up, he is good in anticipating, he is strong in the line.

"We are so happy because for the next years we have a good goalkeeper for Manchester City."

Guardiola is particularly pleased by how Ederson has responded since suffering facial injuries in a nasty collision with Liverpool's Sadio Mane in September. He even risked another blow to the head when diving at the feet of Chris Wood in Saturday's 3-0 defeat of Burnley.

Guardiola said: "After what happened against Liverpool, when we played again, there were one or two actions and he was there. It means a lot."

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport