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Guardiola seeking ‘wow’ factor

STEAUA V CITY: Pep Guardiola's press conference

STEAUA V CITY: Pep Guardiola's press conference

Pep Guardiola has been studying Steaua Bucharest closely in the lead-up to Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League play-off.

The Catalan admits he has been impressed with what he’s seen of the Romanian side and has warned that qualification for the group stages is no foregone conclusion.

Ahead of his second competitive game, Pep also told journalists in his media conference that he wants supporters to come away from games amazed at the football his team produces.

“I have seen a lot of Steaua games and I am very impressed with what they do,” Guardiola emphasised.

“We are going to try and score goals and try to convince the players how important it is to play in the Champions League and how beautiful it is and we are going to try and win it.

“At the end, the pitch is the pitch and everything is level. It depends on our game. Every coach and every manager has his own ideas. I have one that I believe in a lot and I try every training session and every game to convince these guys that this is the best way to win the game.

“It all depends on the quality of the players. The first target is to try to play good for us and for our people, our fans. I would like them to go to the stadium and for them to think wow, I like how they play.”

Guardiola also revealed the reasons behind his decision to leave Yaya Toure out of the travelling squad.

Pep explained: “Yaya is training amazing but I was not sure he was going to play so I would prefer him to stay in Manchester to keep training good.

“We travel with two young guys who maybe will stay out of the selection. I’d prefer the young guys to be out of selection rather than Yaya Toure.

“I have a lot of respect him, his career, his quality. Against Sunderland, were looking for a typical, intensive game and that’s why he didn’t play – that’s the only reason why.”

John Stones was next to his manager fresh from his debut against Sunderland and the England international discussed the prospect of making his UEFA Champions League bow in Bucharest on Tuesday.

He added: “You don't get these opportunities to work with the best manager in the world and at a top club and in the Champions League. I feel now was the right time for the next step in my career.

“I know I've got to fight for my place. I'll just try to show everyone what I can do and earn my place and try to get that starting spot.

“We work hard and the gaffer works hard to get it across to us what the opposition are going to do. We can only go out and try and beat them and that's what we're going to do tonight for tomorrow’s game.”

What the Media Says

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What the Media Says

Sagna provides insight on life under Pep

LEARNING: Sagna says Blues working hard on new system

It was not only Pep Guardiola’s on-field tactical ingenuity that provided much for the weekend’s media to debate, but according to Bacary Sagna, the players’ pre-match routine has changed significantly too.

Frenchman provides fascinating matchday insight.

First Team News

Pep: Centre-back Kolarov was "the best I've seen"

ALL SMILES: Pep was pleased with City's defensive performance against Sunderland

City manager Pep Guardiola labelled Aleksandar Kolarov’s centre-back performance in Saturday’s win over Sunderland as “one of the best” he has seen.

The Serbia international, normally deployed at left-back, was handed a central starting role in the absence of usual centre-halves Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi.