Mens Team

Guardiola not setting any targets

Guardiola not setting any targets
Pep Guardiola says he is not setting any targets for his City side - either in terms of Premier League points or victories - in the wake of Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham.

Despite dominating Saturday’s encounter, the champions had to settle for a share of the points with Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero’s efforts being cancelled out by goals from Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura.

With last season’s runners-up Liverpool and Arsenal both having won their opening two fixtures, it means City have a two-point deficit to make up after the first fortnight of the new season.

But asked at his post-match press conference following the draw whether he felt there was any increased pressure to win every game given Liverpool’s consistency in particular, the City boss was unequivocal in his response.

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Further more, Guardiola insisted that the way City played and rewarded our fans was the most important barometer for him in terms of quality, success and standards.

“I am not thinking about how many points we need to be champions or how many games we have to win,” Guardiola insisted.

“I am a spectator, too. I like to sit at home and see what other teams do.

“I enjoy what the opponents and contenders we have do, especially Liverpool.

“But from the first day when I came here what we were looking for is the way we played like we did today (Saturday).

“I think we dignify the sport and the people who pay money to come and watch us. 

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“People see how honest we are, to play for the people, and that is what I want when I finish my part here.”

A tumultuous Etihad fixture was encapsulated by a dramatic finale which saw substitute Gabriel Jesus fire home an apparent injury-time winner – only for the effort to be chalked off by VAR for a handball by Aymeric Laporte.

Despite the disappointment of not claiming all three points, Guardiola insisted there was no reason for his players to reproach themselves – particularly given the quality of Saturday’s opponents who were last season’s Champions League finalists.

“In my first season here, but especially in the last two seasons, we were an incredible team and on Saturday we played Tottenham, a team with a top manager and incredible players,” the boss added.

“Not many teams can do what we did against a team like Tottenham.

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“I told the players it’s emotional, it's frustrating to lose two points in that way but football is like this.

“Football is the only sport you can have 30 chances to 2 and still draw or even lose. In basketball, tennis, golf if you do what we did against Spurs, you win. That’s why this sport is so fascinating.

“Of course, we are sad as we want to win but now we will stand up and prepare for Bournemouth.”

One of the big positives from Saturday’s encounter was another magnificent performance from Kevin De Bruyne who created the assists for both our goals in the course of a man-of-the-match display.

And Guardiola said the City staff and players were delighted to have the Belgian midfielder back firing on all cylinders once again after his 2018/19 campaign was disrupted by a number of serious injuries.

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“(His performance) was not a big surprise. We know him. Everyone knows what Kevin can do. He did it in the past,” said the boss.

“Last season he had a lot of injuries and we survived. We are incredibly happy for him especially as last season he suffered.

“But I am happy with the way he played. We are all happy he is back, and he can help us.”

The boss also provided an injury update on centre back John Stones who was forced to miss the Spurs game with a rectus femoris strain.

“He has a muscular problem,” said Guardiola, who added that he expected the 25-year-old to be out for: “A week to ten days.”

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