Men's Team

Guardiola proud of players’ attitude

Guardiola proud of players’ attitude
Pep Guardiola says he is proud of his players for not letting their standards slip after all the success they have achieved in recent years.

Last season’s Premier League title was the 10th trophy of Guardiola’s reign at Manchester City and the Catalan admits it is not unusual for teams to suffer a slump in form after such accomplishments.

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However, with City sitting second in the table and having qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League with a game to spare, Guardiola's side have done the opposite, prompting him to express his gratitude for the squad's continued exemplary attitude and desire for success.

“What they have done so far, especially in the [Champions League] group stage, which was so tough and in the Premier League after winning so much, I feel so grateful for the players,” he said.

“I know what it means to win the Premier League. Most teams after winning drop the next season.

“Look at the last ten winners. What happens the next season? They drop dramatically, but we are still there.

“We would like to be ten points clear of Chelsea and Liverpool. It’s impossible because of how good they are, but we are close.

“Last week in the Premier League we played awesome, really well. Tomorrow we continue to try and do it.

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“When we are winning and winning, the players are there every day, snowing, raining, windy, home, away.  That means we are a good club, a good organisation and that makes me so proud.

“Sometimes when you win the title, after there is a tendency to say, ‘I don’t want to run this metre, I don’t want to do this job, I don't want to do it because I’m good and I won it.’

“But, we are still there. That is good.”

City will be looking to extend our winning run to six games when we travel to Aston Villa on Wednesday evening, but may have to do so without the services of Jack Grealish.

The midfielder has missed the last three games with an injury he picked up whilst away with England and, whilst he is back in training, he will be assessed ahead of the trip to face his former club.

Grealish recently admitted he has found the transition at City more difficult than he imagined, but Guardiola thinks the playmaker has acclimatised better than he realises and has encouraged him to play his natural game.

“My opinion is he played much better than maybe he believes or people believe,” added the boss.

“Maybe at Villa everything started with him. Here, it is a new position and maybe he wasn't as clinical in the final third.

“It’s a new environment, that’s normal, it’s a process. He needs time, all the new players always struggle, but what he sees or what he has to do, it’s so easy for him with the quality he has.

“Be who you are, no more than that.”

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