Man City ‘won’t fall into complacency’
LONDON – Agence France-Presse
Pep Guardiola says Manchester City proved against Newcastle United that its title charge will not be derailed by complacency as the team bounced back to winning ways following defeat against Liverpool.
The runaway Premier League leader responded to its first domestic loss of the season at Anfield on Jan. 14 by overpowering the Magpies 3-1 with a Sergio Aguero hattrick on Jan. 20.
Guardiola had said beforehand it was important that his players responded well and he feels the performance at the Etihad Stadium, which maintained a 12-point lead at the top, showed their character.
“I said many times it was going to happen, we can lose, so [it is] important the reaction we have to do,” said the manager.
“Still we have 42 points to play [for]. It is 14 games. It is a lot of games to play and difficult games like Saturday and like Liverpool. It is important to show the team is still there but I don’t have the feeling we give up.
“We want to go through to the final in the [League] Cup and the FA Cup, so [we have] a lot of games but I think the people have the desire to keep going, to keep going, to keep going.
“Even with 12 points it is important to see the personality, the team and try to do the things with no mistakes. Never did I not see it this season and that is why I am so proud to be their manager.”
City has earned plenty of plaudits as it has dominated the Premier League this season.
But Guardiola, whose side is also still challenging in three other competitions, does not want to reflect on that yet and wants his players to focus only the games ahead.
He said: “I said to them until fixture 24 we were the best team but that doesn’t count. It counts after fixture 38.