Men's Team

Gundogan: Pep strives for perfection

Gundogan: Pep strives for perfection
Ilkay Gundogan believes Pep Guardiola’s attention to detail has been a crucial factor in Manchester City’s blistering first half of the season.

City remain on course to win all four trophies after Saturday’s stunning second-half fightback saw us come from a goal down to beat Burnley 4-1 and move through to the FA Cup fourth round.

Next up is Bristol City on Tuesday in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg - out seventh game in 21 days - and Gundogan says he expects the Championship side to defend en masse in a bid to frustrate City.

But the German midfielder believes the painstaking preparations carried out by Guardiola and his backroom staff mean the City players a ready for any challenge. 

"The manager and his staff always know what they need to show us or not," he said.

"Of course we need to know Bristol City's idea of playing football and how their style is.

"Although when they come here to our stadium, we can be quite sure they are going to play very defensive, especially in the first leg.

"That is what we all expect at the moment.

"But they can also surprise us on Tuesday evening.

"We need to be ready for every single case.

WATCH: Every touch of Gundogan's man-of-the-match display against Burnley

WATCH: Pep previews Carabao Cup semi-final

"Normally at this point, it is not so needed that the manager has to tell us a lot. He just needs to remember us always because we know how we need to play against every kind of formation, if it is a back four or five, if it is one striker or two, if we need to build up or attack where the spaces are.

"In general it is quite similar, It is just about remembering every single player always about it. In the end it is up to us to show it on the pitch.

“There were a few games we were leading 3-0 or something at half-time and there were maybe just details, but situations he was not satisfied with. 

“At the end he always tries to explain it.

“At half-time there's obviously not much time to do it.

“Sometimes there is a little bit more to talk, sometimes a little bit less but, in general, he always lets us know what we can improve for the second half and what we have done well.”

Bristol City currently sit fourth in the Championship table and arrive in the last four of the Carabao Cup having beaten Manchester United in the last round. 

Gundogan admits they are likely to pose a serious threat - but believes City have the class to move into the final. 

“They have beaten United, so of course it will be a tough challenge but we know we are the the favourites," he said.

"We play the first leg here at home, so, of course, we want to win that game.

"We want to win both games. It is up to us. We are strong enough to beat them. It is a semi-final.

"The good thing is that we have two legs, so even if we don't show our best performance in the first leg, there is a second opportunity.

"It is a challenge. We don't want to wait for the second leg. We want to try to have the perfect result in the first one.

"Hopefully we will reach that."