Mens Team

Performance is key for Guardiola

THE BOSS: Pep Guardiola at his Crystal Palace pre-match press conference.
Pep Guardiola says he has not set City a projected points target in order to try and secure a third successive Premier League title success.

Instead, the City boss said his overriding priority is focused on helping to bring the best out of the Champions as we enter a hectic Autumn schedule.

City will resume domestic action after the October international break away at Crystal Palace tomorrow teatime eight points adrift of leaders Liverpool, who visit Manchester United on Sunday.

However, when asked whether he had a points target in mind for what may be required to retain the league crown once again, Guardiola was unequivocal in his response.

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“No. I’ve never said how many points you need to win a title,” the City manager insisted.

“I’m not concerned about that. I’m concerned about getting back to who we are and improving.

“What Liverpool are doing is fantastic. Of course, we want to win. We are contenders. We can do it.

"Every situation is different. We are not going to change. I will not change the opinion on my team. We have to be focused on increasing our game and to win games.

“But I’m not thinking about points. There are dynamics, momentum, injuries...hopefully not. You never know.

“In April or May with one month and five or six games left, I might think about that.

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“We have 50 or 60 games left and we have to play and enjoy it. I’m not the guy who thinks I’m going to win all the Premier Leagues for the rest of my life.

“I’m not concerned. I’m concerned for us to come back to the way we are and play the best we can.

“Of course, we want to win – but I’m not thinking now about how many points.”

If seeking positive inspiration, the City squad need only look back to last season which saw Guardiola’s players claw back a seven point deficit on New Year's Day by winning our last 14 league games to overhaul Liverpool and claim a second successive Premier League crown.

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But when quizzed as to whether last season’s fight back provided him with extra belief, Guardiola said his only priority was in driving the very best in collective performance.

“I don’t believe in those kinds of things… what I believe is to try and play better,” the boss added.

“In the last 10 days I was thinking about what we’ve done, how we played, about systems. I don’t think about if we lose a game we can’t win.

“Sport is present, always in the present.

“We have prepared for Crystal Palace, it’s the only way I know how to work.”

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