Saturday 17 March 2018

Pep Guardiola rubbishes Jurgen Klopp's claim and fires warning to the rest of the Premier League

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola
Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola

Jack Austin

Pep Guardiola has rubbished Jurgen Klopp’s comments that Manchester City could have sewn up the title by January but warned the rest of the Premier League there is still plenty more to come from his side.

City already boast a five-point lead at the top of the table from rivals Manchester United after their 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and are yet to taste defeat this season.

They've also scored 35 goals in the process and conceded only six, which prompted Klopp to make the claims in an interview with France's SFR Sport.

Asked if a team can win the league by playing 'attacking, offensive football', Klopp said: "Ask Pep Guardiola and Manchester City what do you think, in this moment it looks like they are champions in January or something."

But Guardiola dismissed that as completely unrealistic and insisted he is focusing on the Champions League game with Napoli this week rather than when his side will win the title.

"You are English and have been watching football for a long time, have you ever known a team win the title in January? Me neither. No," the Spaniard said.

"We want to try to win against Arsenal in our Premier League game next Sunday at home and we want to try to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday (against Napoli). That is our next target."

Guardiola started his Manchester City reign with 10 consecutive victories before the wheels seemed to come off and they went through a poor run of form, something which is yet to happen this time around.

And he thinks the reason for that is that the mood and confidence amongst his players is good but has warned that the real moment of finding out how good his side is will be when they are not playing the fluid attacking football they have been but can still find a way to win.

"Our mood is good," he added. "We believe we're going to score goals and we believe we're only going to concede few. We are able to do that. I give a lot of credit when we win a lot of times, a lot of games in a row."That helps a lot with confidence but it is a risk to think we can do less and think we can do the same. That is the risk, but the way we played from the beginning, and the way we played over 90 minutes, showed me a lot in our performance to remain there.

"So it is important when you win to be comfortable but also when you don't play at the highest level, you are still able to win.

That is the big difference this season, because last season when we were not playing well, there was no chance to win. Until now that hasn't happened."

Guardiola also warned that there is still more to come from his team despite their imperious home form.

"Of course there is a lot more to come. We have won 5-1, 6-0 and 7-2 and this was 3-2, so there is a lot more to come. In football there are many things to get right."

Independent News Service

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