Mens Team

Guardiola hails City's positive mind-set

Guardiola hails City's positive mind-set
Pep Guardiola says Manchester City have the right mind-set as his players step up the quest for a historic potential quadruple.

Having already secured the Carabao Cup, City are also through to the FA Cup semi-finals, the last eight of the Champions League and lie in second place in the Premier League, just two points behind Liverpool but with a crucial game in hand.

With April beckoning, the Blues' incredible run of form so far in 2019 – which has seen us win 19 out of 20 games – has set up a pulsating finale to the season as City fight on three fronts to try and achieve a feat never achieved before in the English game

And asked, in the wake of Saturday’s impressive 2-0 Premier League win at Fulham, if he thought his players were mentally ready for the challenge of what would be an historic achievement in the English game, the City boss was unequivocal in his response.

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“I think there are no complaints about that, with what happened last season and this season again. Mentally we were there, we are there,” declared the Blues manager.

“I think the players are not stupid, the fact we are living something so difficult to achieve, to arrive in the beginning of April and we have won two titles this season and are fighting for the other three. They know it.

“The way we start to play they show me that we want to do it, we want to try – it’s so difficult but we want to try.

“It’s not to think so much about the titles, it’s what’s next.

“What’s next is Cardiff, prepare well and go like a machine to win, to play, and try to win.

“One day maybe it’s not going to happen, so accept the reality. That is what it is. But I think mentally the people (players) are ready.”

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With eight games on the calendar in April alone and more to follow in May and even potentially June it promises to be a frantic finale to the season for the Blues players.

But as he looked ahead to a defining last two months of the season, Guardiola said he believed the prospect of having to play every three or four days could help bring the very best out of his players.

 “People say you can have a break and prepare… so maybe for the Cup semi-final and for the Champions League, being in the position in the Premier League where you know if you do not win you are going to lose the Premier League, maybe that is going to help us for other competitions,” Pep added.

“When you are 10 points or 12 points in front, after you can be a little bit more selective, but now there is not another option.

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“We don’t have another choice… every game we play we have to win, if not you drop that competition.

“That’s why sometimes feeling or playing with that pressure is nice, it’s necessary to take the best of ourselves.

The boss also spoke about the significance of the fact that both Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne made successful returns to action in the victory at Craven Cottage.

De Bruyne made his comeback after four weeks out with a hamstring issue by starting and impressing for 75 minutes before being replaced by Fernandinho who was also making a welcome return after a month out with a similar hamstring complaint.

The Blues’ boss said the duo – together with his other fit-again players - would all have crucial roles to play between now and the end of the season, starting with Wednesday’s home clash against Cardiff City.

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“It’s so important for us that Kevin and Fernandinho and the others are back,” Guardiola added.

Fernandinho is really important but still he is a little bit far away from his best condition, and we cannot forget how good Ilkay Gundogan played in his absence - he was incredible the last four or five games, Gundogan was a massive player for us.

“But we need Kevin, we need of course people who stayed in Manchester, like Vincent (Kompany), like Phil (Foden).

“The next games I am going to make a few changes. We cannot win the Premier League and the other tournaments just with the players who played on Saturday, a few players are going to play against Cardiff and I want the best of them.” 

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