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Pep: 'It is a pleasure to manage this team'

LEADING MAN: Pep Guardiola fires out some instructions to his players

LEADING MAN: Pep Guardiola fires out some instructions to his players

Pep Guardiola says it is a joy to manage his players.

Speaking after a 6-1 win over Southampton that saw the Blues move two points clear at the top of the Premier League, the Catalan purred over his team’s display – though he insisted improvements both as a team and on an individual basis, can be made.

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“It’s a joy to be manager of them because they follow what we tell them,” said Pep.

“In training, I try to argue why we should play this way. It’s a joy and a pleasure for the staff.

“Mikel insists on many things and everyone is there to help the guys to be better.

 

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“If at the end of our period here they are better than when we arrived, then well played to everyone.”

Despite the praise, the Blues’ boss says there are still many areas that his team can improve on.

He also complimented Southampton, despite the mauling his side handed out, pointing to their spirit and chances created after the break.

“Without the ball we conceded a lot.,” he said. “We conceded a lot of corners, free kicks and they have the best corner-taker in the Premier League.

“It’s always dangerous, but of course I am so satisfied with the result and performance.

“But the players send me signals that say in some positions we are not stable enough.

 

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At 3-1, they created problems for us. Their crosses were always dangerous, and we had problems controlling long balls. Scoring in the last minute of the first-half made it better for us in the second.

“Southampton, I felt, could score more. But at the same time, we also could have scored more goals.

“We were clever in final spaces. It is not easy. Southampton did not give up. I admire Mark and his players, they create more chances more than any other team we have played this season.

“In second half we had more control and we have more chances, though of course by that time, the game was over.

“But before that, Southampton were there. Big compliment for them.”

There was also special praise for two-goal, two assist Raheem Sterling - plus the promise that Leroy Sane can become even better, as the boss added: “Raheem is a top player. But he is so young. He is incredible, sharp, fast, clever, fighting, ambitious, decisive, can play on both sides, in the middle, receive ball behind lines…

“Why has he improved so much? His head. First season, when the ball arrived in the box and he was scared, he looked at who he should pass to.

“We spoke about that and I said try to score goals, be aggressive, it doesn't matter if you miss it.

“I think he enjoys scoring now and making assists and being important.

“He’s a winning player. He is so, so important. He is stable, focused. He can become better player. He can reach whatever he wants.

“It was an incredible performance - with and without the ball. But still, with young players, like Leroy, they can still improve.

“Leroy still loses simple balls. It was an amazing assist in first few minutes, but then he lost the ball a lot.

“He has to improve, but his quality one against one, his pace, is incredible.”

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