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Guardiola: Quadruple quest is 'a joy'

Pep Guardiola says the challenge of managing Manchester City’s quest for an historic quadruple is ‘a joy’.

Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Brighton at Wembley heralds the start of a season-defining period of games for City.

It will be followed by a Champions League quarter-final clash against Tottenham, with April also seeing league leaders City feature in a number of crucial Premier League clashes too, including an Old Trafford derby.

It means there will be no respite for the manager and his squad with games coming thick and fast every few days as City seek to add to the Carabao Cup which was secured in February.

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But asked at his pre-match press conference ahead of the semi-final if he was feeling the pressure of overseeing such a daunting challenge, Guardiola was unequivocal in his response.

“No, absolutely not. I feel the pressure in November, December, (when you are) away eight points (behind),” the boss replied.

“It is four or five months of the season and you are far away or out of a competition.

“But not now. Now is a joy, and incredible moments - I am more relaxed, you have to enjoy these moments.

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“Now is the moment to enjoy things. To try and reach the FA Cup final - what pressure is that? No pressure at all.”

Ahead of the defining final eight weeks of the campaign every game will carry extra special importance.

And the City manager was also asked whether he could point to a moment in the season where he felt the belief took hold that something special could happen to the Club.

“It’s happened (in the past), but not yet (this season),” Pep continued.

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“At (Barca) - we qualified for the final of the Copa del Rey in 2009, it was 10 vs 11 (against Mallorca), our keeper Pinto at 1-0 down kept a penalty out, Lionel Messi came on and scored.

“I think people also remember the way we won at Stamford Bridge (in the 2009 Champions League semi-final). We had one shot on target and we scored in the 93rd minute to draw 1-1 and go through.

“(In La Liga) Barca were 12 points in front at Christmas time. Madrid played just one competition, the points came down and we went to the Bernabeu needing to win, and we did it (6-2) to win the league.

“So always there are (special) moments for teams.”

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