Pep Guardiola says his only remaining ambition at Manchester City is … to beat Crystal Palace tomorrow! When asked what he wants to achieve in the remainder of his time at City, he dodged the elephant in the room nicely.
Pep Guardiola said “A tough thing I would like to live – to win against Crystal Palace,”
And he indicated that the mantra of treating every opponent with the same respect, and never looking too far ahead, has served him well.
Pep Guardiola said “I prepare for West Ham in the Carabao Cup like it was Club Brugge last week. I want to beat Palace. I don’t take a look longer. My happiness will not change with thinking about (winning) the Premier League or Champions League or the FA Cup. My happiness depends on if we win against Crystal Palace, that is my only concern. It has worked in my career, thinking like this. It’s so important, not to get distracted.”
Now in his sixth season, Guardiola is the third longest-serving manager in the Premier League behind Burnley’s Sean Dyche and Liverpool rival Jurgen Klopp. But he says he has surprised himself by clocking up 200 league games at City, for the longest stint by a City manager since Joe Mercer in the Sixties.
Pep Guardiola said “When I arrived here, I never thought I would be here for six seasons – ever, ever, I came, ‘OK, do three seasons and do a good job’. I don’t know what is going to happen in the future. I want to beat Palace and then make an incredible step to qualify for the Champions League by beating Bruges.”
Speculation continues to grow about his future, with Guardiola expressing some doubt that he will manage City for another 200 league games. But he said that he is extremely content at the moment: “I extended the contract because we got results, winning back-to-back Premier Leagues and many titles.
Pep Guardiola said “I couldn’t be in a better place right now. I could not be. I have everything I need to do my job as best as possible. I’m surrounded by fantastic players. All of them. Even the guys who can be sad when they understand that they don’t play. I understand them more than they believe. I have everything. An incredible backroom staff, the hierarchy support me unconditionally. When we lose we try to find solutions, how we improve to the team. I cannot be in a better place for my job, that’s why I extended once, I extended twice. Otherwise I would not be here. This club remains so stable in many things and I’m pretty sure the next step I’m going to take, and whenever I am replaced, the manager will do an exceptional job because the base is there. They know what they have to do to move forward. We lost against West Ham but we lost in a good way. When you lose, lose like we did in Paris, in a good way. This is when you become a good club, a good team. This is what we have to continue.”
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