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Pep outlines areas for improvement

PEP TALK: Guardiola is ready for the visit of Crystal Palace

PEP TALK: Guardiola is ready for the visit of Crystal Palace

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City need to improve in both boxes if they want challenge for silverware next season.

Speaking ahead of City’s crucial home game with Crystal Palace on Saturday, the Catalan boss admits his side have been too inconsistent since the 10-game winning run that saw the campaign begin with a flourish ended with a 3-3 draw against Celtic in September.

And he puts that down to their lack of ruthlessness in the areas – both in attack and defence – something he feels is undermining their dominance in possession.

“The first two months were good then we were inconsistent,” he said. “We were more inconsistent than consistent.

“In the boxes, we were not good, and in this league, everything happens in the boxes.

“In other leagues, the people in the middle take care of the process. Here, nothing happens in the middle.

“We were not strong in that way, and that is why we have suffered this season.

“It’s no surprise because I was a fan of the Premier League as a teenager, as an adult, as a player and as a manager.

“When I was on my sofa watching the games in the Premier League, I realised how they play here.

“It’s your culture. You create that football, and for all your careers, you are used to playing that way.

“That’s why we have to adapt. I knew that when I came here.”

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Meanwhile, Guardiola has admitted he would have loved to continue playing Gabriel Jesus alongside Sergio Aguero in attack this weekend to give City as much attacking threat as possible. 

The pair started in tandem for the first time last week at Middlesbrough and both found the net in the 2-2 draw. 

However, Aguero, who has scored 31 goals this season, including 13 in his last 14 games, will miss the game with Palace after suffering a groin injury in the dying moments of the game at the Riverside Stadium. 

“Of course, he was important in the last two weeks,” he said. “We would've preferred to have played him together with Sergio because our lack of goals this season - we could adjust something.

“For the first time in the last game we played with two strikers, so we would need to make an adjustment, but it is not easy to do that.

“And our lack of goals this season would have been better.

“But of course we have him, we have Kelechi [Iheanacho] and we have other players to score goals.”

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