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Guardiola: I’m sorry but I love my team! ​

PEP TALK: The boss says he loves his squad!

PEP TALK: The boss says he loves his squad!

Pep Guardiola could not hide his admiration for his Manchester City players after the 1-0 win over Tottenham on Saturday, declaring his love for every one of them!

In a tense, fraught 90 minutes, City managed to secure a vital victory that keeps our title hopes in our own hands with four games remaining.

The players were superb, drawing on their fighting spirit and battling qualities as much as the technical brilliance we are so often praised for. 

Guardiola was delighted with the display and says the consistency we have shown over a long period of time is something to behold. 

"I think it is momentum (that) take us from the last one month, two months," he said.

"With this Liverpool side, our side we know if we lose what happens. Liverpool is a big squad, arriving perfect. Semi-finals of Champions League again, the team is so tough.

"I am happy to be consistent every three days, I love my team being there. I am not going to criticise them because we are out (of the Champions League). I see every day what we have done over the past two seasons, they show me character every three days.

"I have good players, but they have to do it. And when people expect them to do it, it’s harder to do it. That’s why we push them but they respond really well.

"I love my team, I’m sorry!"

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Meanwhile, Guardiola once again waxed lyrical about Phil Foden, who scored the winner against Spurs with his first Premier League goal.

The 18-year-old looked as assured as ever, with his wonderful touch, poise and vision marking him out as one of the game’s leading youngsters.

Guardiola says he was made aware of Foden’s quality immediately after arriving at City in the summer of 2016 and believes the Stockport-born midfielder has a “special” talent.

"Next season he has to fight with Fernandinho, David (Silva), Kevin (De Bruyne), (Ilkay) Gundogan," he said. "He has to run and run and run to convince me to play him. But I trust him – I trust him a lot.

"When I first landed here Txiki (Begiristain) told me you have to meet one player who is 15, 16-years-old. You have to know him. And he came to a training session and I said ‘wow, you are right, Txiki. This player is good’!

"Last season he started to train - with Brahim (Diaz) and Jadon Sancho - with us a little bit and now he is part of our team.

"Young players have to be careful: as quick as you go up, as quick as you go down. Sometimes you have to handle these situations but we don't have any doubts about him. Any.

"Every time he plays, his standard is top, and he is at the level to be a Manchester City player. It is not easy to play in those teams, big teams like Tottenham, Real Madrid, the big, top clubs.

"It’s not easy. He is able to do that and he is 18. That’s why I am so satisfied.

"I see him every day in training, he has something special and I saw many players as a player and a manager - and this guy has something difficult to find. Work hard and we are going to see how far his career (can go), hopefully for a long time."

CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Phil Foden on the attack against Tottenham

Highlights

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City v Spurs: Extended highlights

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MEDIA WATCH: All the latest City news and opinion from across this morning's back pages

Manchester City earned a vital three points with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Tottenham on Saturday – and the back pages are full of praise for match-winner Phil Foden after his first Premier League goal.

All the latest City news and opinion from across this morning's back pages.

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