Mens Team

Guardiola: Title talk is irrelevant

Guardiola: Title talk is irrelevant
Pep Guardiola says he is ignoring talk of City being made favourites to win the Premier League title and is instead channeling his energies on seeking to overcome the challenge of Sheffield United on Saturday.

A run of 11 consecutive victories across all competitions has seen City rise to the top of the table and move one point clear of Manchester United with a crucial game in hand.

That magnificent run of form – with City now unbeaten in 18 games overall since early November – has seen us installed as favourites to regain the crown we won in 2018 and 2019 by many bookies and pundits.

However, addressing the media at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s Etihad encounter with the Blades, the boss insisted such talk was premature.

And he said that the nature of a season like no other due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and where the lead at the top has changed hands on numerous occasions, simply proved that predictions were nigh on impossible to make.

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Asked how he reacted to City being labelled title favourites, the boss asserted: “(In the) Same way as just one month ago (when) we had no chance to win the title!

“One month ago we were not even in the Champions League qualification for next season -now we are the only favourites for the Premier League.

“There’s inside and outside, nothing else.

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“Always we take the last result for what a team is doing (but) in 11 months, you have good moments and bad moments.

“We will have bad moments - we are going to lose games, winning 11 games in a row in different competitions in the times we are living is quite exceptional.

“But we are going to drop points and to lose games and it's how we recover from that and be stable in that position.

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“When people say 'What you do expect from this season,' I said: I don't know. ‘Do you expect to win tomorrow?’ I don’t know, ‘Are you going to win the Premier League?’ I don’t know.

“I didn’t know it one month ago and I will not know it in one month and, what to expect tomorrow, I don't know.

“My only concern is Sheffield United.”

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Though bottom of the table, Sheffield United will arrive at the Etihad buoyed by Wednesday’s impressive 2-1 win away at Manchester United.

For his part, given how tough an opponent Chris Wilder’s side have proved to be in our three previous meetings over the past 14 months, the boss said he was expecting another demanding examination tomorrow.

“I saw the game (October’s 1-0 win at Bramall Lane) and we suffered a lot to beat them.,” Guardiola added.

“Last year when we won when we played them, in the first half they deserved to take advantage and we won 2-0 with two brilliant actions from our quality players.

“We went there and won 1-0 this season and last season - all the games against them have been so tough and I know it.

“We have to discover if we can do better than the game in Sheffield - that was at the beginning of the season and we were not really, really good.

“That’s the only concern... not about who will be champions or the pundits’ opinion.

“It’s a job I respect a lot, but the most important thing is inside not outside.”

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