Men’s Team

Pep's praise for City environment

PRE-MATCH: Pep Guardiola addresses the media ahead of the community shield.
Pep Guardiola is heading into his fourth season with Manchester City full of appreciation for the environment he is working in.

It’s an environment in which he has enjoyed great success and victory in Sunday’s Community Shield clash with Liverpool would see the Catalan add a seventh trophy to his City collection.

There’s been plenty to celebrate, just as there was when he was at the helm of Barcelona.

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There, Guardiola called time on his spell in charge at the end of his fourth campaign, citing a need to recharge his batteries, but with a similar milestone approaching at the Etihad Stadium, he has spoken of how comfortable he feels working at City and in England.

“It’s not comparable,” he said.

“Barcelona was my home-town, I grew up there. The feeling here is different and the relationship with the media day to day and the way we train is completely different.

“Here, we are isolated. It’s so comfortable, that’s why it’s nice.

“When you win you are a good manager and when you lose you are a bad manager, that’s everywhere. That is the relationship with players, managers and media.

“Here it’s much more comfortable. It’s helpful, of course.”

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Just as it was last summer, much of the preseason talk has focused on whether the reigning champions can maintain the level of performance which has won countless trophies and plaudits.

Twelve months ago Guardiola repeatedly warned of a need to guard against complacency after our 100 point haul in 2017/18.

However, having swept the board domestically in the season that followed, the boss admits his approach is now different.

“We will be nicer this season,” Guardiola explained.

“These players convinced me with what they did last season. There are no doubts.

“At the end of last season I didn’t know how well we’d handle our success and I think it was incredible what they did after 100 points.

“The target is to keep improving.”

Guardiola cut a relaxed figure as he addressed the media two days before the new campaign gets under way.

Success and the environment he speaks so glowingly of will no doubt have contributed to that, but Pep also revealed how he has changed with experience.

“I am different too,” he added.

“I am a little bit different to my third or fourth season in Barcelona.

“I am calmer. I trust in myself and my players more.”

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