Mens Team

Pep not looking past Palace

Pep not looking past Palace
Pep Guardiola insists accumulating points not winning runs is all he is concerned about as City gear up for Sunday’s important Etihad assignment against Crystal Palace.

A victory against Roy Hodgson’s men would make it eight triumphs in a row in all competitions – and five in the Premier League – for Guardiola’s squad who boast a 100 per cent record so far in 2021.

However rather than be sidetracked by talk of embarking on lengthy winning runs, the boss insisted that his and the players’ focus was solely trained on the here and now – and the formidable challenge presented by Palace.

All the more so given that the Eagles have gained four points from their previous two visits to the Etihad.

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“When we had incredible runs (in the past), I never thought about how many winning runs or marathons we have to do to win something,” the City boss asserted.

“When we won 18 games in a row to win the Premier League for the first time and to get 100 points (in 2017/18), after we had won our second game, I said: ‘OK we are going to try to win the next one and the next one.’

“I never expect from my players to win a lot of games. I want to win the next one and the next one is Crystal Palace.

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“And then when the moment comes, and you play in the Carabao Cup or the FA Cup - that is the game you try to win.

“So, I don’t care how many games we are able to win in a row or not win in a row. Absolutely zero. It is just Crystal Palace.

“It’s Zaha, Eze, Benteke, Milivojević, Roy Hodgson. That is the only thing I am concerned about since we beat Brighton.”

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Our fine run of form over the past month or so has lifted us up into fourth place in the table just behind Liverpool and Manchester United who meet at Anfield tomorrow, and Leicester, ahead of our clash with Palace.

But asked on whether he had any preferred outcome from the game on Merseyside, the boss delivered an unequivocal response.

“Crystal Palace is the only team I want to beat. The rest, I don’t care,” Guardiola stressed.

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“The last two seasons against Palace at home we got one point. We lost and we drew.

“Our performance at Selhurst Park was better than at the Etihad

“That’s why Crystal Palace are my only concern. We will play knowing the result (of United v Liverpool).

“But trying to beat Palace is my only concern.”


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