Men's Team

'An honour' to welcome Vieira back to the Etihad, says Guardiola

Pep Guardiola says it will be 'an honour' to lock managerial horns with Patrick Vieira when City play host to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

After a distinguished career spent mainly with Arsenal, the French World Cup winner ended his playing days at City, helping us win the 2011 FA Cup.

Vieira then took up a key off field role at the Club before becoming head coach of our EDS squad.

He then stayed within the City Football Group family, furthering his managerial experience as head coach at New York City in 2016.

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After a subsequent spell in charge of Nice, the former French midfield great took up the reigns at Crystal Palace this summer and he has already made a big impact, stamping his identity on the Eagle style and overseeing an impressive set of results.

For his part, City boss Guardiola – who hosted Vieira for a week when he was in charge at Bayern Munich as well as meeting him in New York – says he is looking forward to welcoming him back to Manchester.

“It will be an honour to see Patrick again here in Manchester. He was an important part of Arsenal's history and what he did there was outstanding,” said Guardiola.

“After, I was lucky to meet him in New York. I’m happy he’s back at a high level in the Premier League, doing well.

“The last games, he played tough contenders, but his team showed their quality.

“When a person like Patrick came to Munich, you cannot imagine what an honour it was for me.

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“This type of player and person - what he has done for world football - not just on the pitch, it’s a privilege and an honour.

“He has changed the dynamics and the way Palace play. They've always had really good players and it will be a real test.

“I am looking forward to seeing him.”

The clash with Palace will be our first game since Wednesday’s Carabao Cup fourth round defeat on penalties away to West Ham.

Having won the trophy for the past four years, it was our first exit from the competition since October 2016, a remarkable record.

However, the boss is confident the City players will respond in the perfect way to the result.

“It was in the news because we won four times in a row,” Guardiola added.

“Playing this competition until the end winning many times did not affect (us in) other competitions.

“I would have liked to continue in this competition, because of the results we achieved (in past seasons) playing in the FA Cup, arriving at the Champions League semi-finals because we are used to playing every two or three days.

“I congratulate West Ham on reaching the next round.

“We are not going to play in the Carabao Cup, we will prepare in the week for the next games.

“Was it nice to be out? Completely the opposite. We can handle it. You cannot win all the time.

“It's part of the game - in football and all of the sport. Normally you lose more than you win.”

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