After being crowned Premier League champions for the past two seasons, City have seen Jurgen Klopp’s side lay down a formidable challenge in opening up a 16-point advantage at the top of the Premier League so far this term.
But asked at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup fourth round tie at home to if he was impressed with his players’ mentality in the light of Liverpool’s impressive unbeaten run of results, the City boss was unequivocal in his response.
“I would say the mentality of my team - what they have done in last two seasons - is incredible. It is the same guys, but I didn't have any doubts,” Guardiola declared.
“I know what happens with the champions in the Premier League. I have said many times, the year after what happens? They fall down… they drop.
“Liverpool will obviously be champions in the Premier League, but would be champions in Spain, Italy, Germany...everywhere. It’s impossible to handle it - even if we were in our best moments.
“In the recent past, when Chelsea won the league, the year after they did not qualify for Champions League.
“With Leicester (it was) the same, Chelsea again the same.
“We won the league and we repeat the league and we were there. We have decent results - in Spain we would be one or two points behind the leader. The same in Germany and Italy as well.”
Looking ahead to Sunday and the rest of the season, the manager added that the challenge for the squad was to both learn and prepare for the challenges ahead – both short and long term.
“Liverpool are fantastic, phenomenal in what they have done. We have to accept it and learn to be better to try and be close to them,” Guardiola added.
“We are still fighting to get better and finish second.
“Now we have two knockout games (in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup) and we can learn about how to handle the (Champions League) games against Real Madrid.
“Every game we can prepare and learn something. But in terms of mentality this team is incredible.
“How they react in bad moments is one of the best I’ve seen in my career. The numbers, the results, not just this season, is phenomenal. That is why I am so proud of them."
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