Pep Guardiola says he will continue to demand the very best from his Manchester City players as the squad train their sights on achieving what would be an historic domestic treble.
Despite last Wednesday’s agonising Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of Tottenham on away goals, City still have so much to play for with the Club having already lifted the Carabao Cup, through to next month's FA Cup final and battling with Liverpool to lift the Premier League title.
Ironically, City will lock horns with Spurs at the Etihad once again on Saturday lunch-time as the focus switches away from Europe back to the Premier League.
Addressing the media at his pre-match press conference, the boss was asked about a observation made by Kevin De Bruyne in a first-person piece by the midfielder earlier this week about Guardiola’s desire to try and achieve perfection.
“I love when my players say it’s tough, it’s the only way! That’s where we are,” the manager declared.
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“Perfection is impossible – you will never get it. Never. But you have to try to achieve it, if you don’t correct mistakes, the mistake is coming again so you have to.”
With a month remaining, the campaign could still turn out to be the most successful in the Club’s history.
But rather than allowing any thoughts to be distracted by that possibility of creating a new English landmark, Guardiola said the focus was trained solely on Saturday’s task ahead of next Wednesday’s Old Trafford derby.
“My mind is focussed on tomorrow at 12.30! It’s the fact we are fighting for that is good, but first it’s Tottenham and then (we) prepare for Old Trafford,” asserted Guardiola.
“I said before the game, it’s incredible what we’ve done so far. The way we compete. I’m sad the way we played at Newcastle away, but the reaction since…
“I love it, I am proud. I’m satisfied and I want to see the same from my players tomorrow.”
Despite the punishing nature of the campaign – both physically and mentally – which was encapsulated in last Wednesday’s epic encounter with the Londoners, Pep also insisted that he was not worried about the prospect of fatigue.
And the manager pledged to continue to treat every competition with the maximum respect by selecting the strongest possible side.
“Do you think they seemed tired in the last game?” Guardiola added.
“I don’t understand… it’s not my profession to not want to win! I’m not going to drop competitions.
“The present is this game and winning that game. The FA Cup and Carabao Cup, I played Eric Garcia, Phil (Foden), Aro (Muric).
“I don’t know if it would’ve been different if I hadn’t.
“We don’t have time to have a break because we play in all the competitions and I love it… I like it to be there!”