Pep Guardiola has dismissed suggestions his players aren’t desperate for more success this season.

City won a historic Treble last year before lifting the UEFA Super Cup earlier this season and will compete for the FIFA Club World Cup later this month.

Having drawn three and lost one of our last four Premier League games, we have seen Arsenal open up a small lead at the top of the table.

Ahead of Sunday’s trip to Luton, Guardiola insists the recent downturn in form has not been due to a lack of desire from his squad.

Luton Town v City | Match preview

“Of course we have to help them but we always have a tendency when we lose to say they aren’t hungry. I don’t believe it for one second,” he stated.

“It’s too simple to say when we lose the games it’s because we don’t run, we don’t have character. If that happened I’d have a real problem.

“I said many times I’ve never seen players that go out on the pitch and don’t want to win.

“They don’t want to go out in front of 60,000 people and play bad but sometimes because you won a lot and need a punch in the face to improve. Now we’ll see.”

The boss also accepts that our recent performances means he must find a solution to help our players return to winning ways.

“I’ve won a lot with this team and sometimes I need to realise ‘Pep come on, something’s wrong’,” he stated.

“We haven’t won for four games but we can play worse than that and win games. Always myself I have to realise that yes it’s a good warning for me.

“I have to find the right training or selection to do it because I’m the boss. I have to help them and they need me. It’s a challenge.

“I have to react myself, four without a win has never happened, what’s wrong I don’t know.”

City have 30 points from 15 matches and find ourselves in fourth place, behind Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa.

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While Guardiola is adamant his team will return to form, he says the strength of this year’s Premier League means there’s a lot that could happen before the end of the season.

“I will help the team to come back, absolutely,” he added.

“Will it be enough? I don’t know. The contenders are so strong, Liverpool are back, for many reasons, Jurgen [Klopp] it always happens and all the other teams, we’ve seen the quality.

“Aston Villa were much better than us, they should’ve lost to Bournemouth but got a draw, this is the competition.

“Tottenham, they lost to West Ham, many things will happen and we have to be ready. To win at Luton we have to realise how difficult it is.”

Our summer transfer business saw several players leave to be replaced by the likes of Jeremy Doku, Josko Gvardiol, Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes.

Guardiola is confident those latest additions, especially Kovacic and Nunes who have been out in recent weeks, have the capability to help us replicate the successes of the last few campaigns.

“They behave good and Mateo when he played in the first nine or 10 games was exceptional.

“They’re important players for us. I’m pretty sure for that.”

Luton Town v City app coverage

Our official app allows you to follow all of the action from one place.


Minute-by-minute text updates will begin in our Matchday Centre two hours before kick-off, while our Matchday Live show will begin at 12:55 (UK). 

We will have guests Keith Curle and Joleon Lescott on the latest Matchday Live show, offering their expert insight before, during and after the action.

They will also answer viewer questions throughout the broadcast, with audience participation actively encouraged on Matchday Live. To get in touch, send a WhatsApp to: +447537186538.

During the game you can also listen to live audio commentary from Alistair Mann and Steve Howey while our text commentary continues.

Make sure to have push notifications turned on as well, so you can be alerted to key moments in the action, including goals, red cards and the team news.

Highlights from the match, as well as a full-match replay [available on CITY+] can be accessed from midnight.