Mens Team

Guardiola: We have returned to our principles

Guardiola: We have returned to our principles
Pep Guardiola says a return to City’s guiding principles – and less reliance on running - has helped underpin our excellent run of recent form.

Since our 1-1 draw at home to West Brom in mid-December, City have been in superb form, recording four straight victories in three competitions, including superb successes away at Chelsea and Manchester United.

Asked at his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday's latest Premier League game against Brighton whether there had been any specific changes since the draw against the Baggies on December 15th, the boss pointed to the fact that his players were now running less and playing more.

“The only difference is we run less. We were running too much - to play football you have to run much less,” Guardiola declared.

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“Without the ball you have to run but with the ball you have to stay more in position and let the ball run and not you - and we have improved in these games in those terms.”

Asked how he had stressed that message to the squad, the boss said there had been no change to the over-arching philosophy that has brought City so much success over the past few seasons.

However, he pointed to the lack of proper pre-season preparation as a key factor in our results in the early part of the season and also reflected on his own role too.

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“From day one (we got the message across the players),” Guardiola added.

“We lost it a bit this season - that was my fault - but we have come back a bit with the principles.

“Especially the players need time to get the best condition after our pre-season.

“It’s normal after one or two good results and especially performances that players visualise we can do it again in the way we did it in the past and that is the path we have to continue."

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A victory against Graham Potter’s side could lift City up into the top three of the Premier League and still with a vital game in hand.

With Manchester United and Liverpool currently vying for top spot, the boss was also asked whether he felt it helped that the side’s excellent progress of late had largely gone under the radar.

But Guardiola also stressed that he anticipated there would be more tough moments for the team going forward this term.

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“We didn't play quite well at the beginning and the good results deserved to be theirs,” Guardiola added.

“The journalists have analysed the last weeks and last games and it depends on how the performances are good. They are candidates and we are not.

“We dropped points like West Ham away and West Brom at home and we don’t deserve to be contenders for the public opinion.

“We tried in the beginning to say to the players to be calm in good and bad moments as this is a weird, strange situation and season for all the clubs.

"That’s why the most intelligent thing I can say is Brighton. That is the only thing I am concerned about. Brighton, Brighton and Brighton.

“After that we will see what happens because we’ll come back in the bad moments and bad games for sure.”

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