Pep Guardiola insists he’s liable for Manchester City’s type and doesn’t suppose his gamers have a mentality concern as they appear to shut Arsenal’s eight-point lead on the high of the Premier League.
City tackle Tottenham on the Etihad on Thursday night time, reside on Sky Sports, trying to apply strain on the Gunners once more after dropping floor within the race final weekend.
Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Spurs within the north London derby after City’s 2-1 loss at rivals Manchester United created far between the 2 groups and was the second defeat in a row for Guardiola’s aspect following their Carabao Cup exit to Southampton.
That dip in type has prompted discuss of a psychological downside inside the City squad, however Guardiola just isn’t satisfied that’s the case.
Thursday nineteenth January 7:00pm
Kick off 8:00pm
“People surprise why City usually are not high of the league, nevertheless it occurs,” the City boss stated. “There is a group who has been unbelievable to date and this isn’t an issue, it’s accepted that the opposite group is best, however what do now we have to do?
“The solely method, just isn’t ready what they will do, attempt to win our video games and play even higher. I don’t suppose it’s about mentality since you see the sport in opposition to United and the earlier one in opposition to Chelsea (a 1-0 win). We did actually, rather well.
“We all the time had perception. When we lose a sport, the tendency is all the time to say we do not run, the tendency is the mentality, or there is no such thing as a combat. But possibly there’s a tactical cause the place I didn’t assist them. I’ve to search out one thing to assist the group to get higher as a result of I’m the person accountable.
“People don’t wait, they count on me to discover a approach to win video games. Otherwise, it is ‘Pep Out’, that is how our jobs work and I would like ‘Pep In’ and to remain right here.”
Pep: I’m by no means relaxed throughout title race
City try to turn out to be solely the fifth English membership to win three consecutive league titles, whereas Arsenal are aiming for his or her first since 2004.
The Gunners have misplaced simply as soon as within the league after 18 matches, whereas City’s defeat at Old Trafford was already their third, however Guardiola insists there may be nonetheless loads of time for his gamers to shut the hole.
“I need to combat for all of the titles and the Premier League. There are 60 factors left and plenty of robust video games left for everybody. We are going to combat, however we will lose,” he stated.
“I’m by no means relaxed even when I’m eight factors in entrance. Before a sport, throughout the sport, by no means.
“It is best [to lead by eight points]. You can drop factors and nonetheless be there. When you’re eight factors behind you’ll be able to’t drop factors.
“Pressure is the subsequent sport. We cannot take into consideration expectations besides successful the subsequent sport. If Arsenal are eight factors forward it’s as a result of they’re stable, good in all departments and need to be there.
“We are used to being there on a regular basis and successful, successful, successful, however now we have been on this place earlier than many occasions.”
Pep: Conte creates issues for everybody
City’s subsequent opponents Tottenham head to Manchester on Thursday with their bid for Champions League qualification faltering after a run of three victories in 9 Premier League video games.
Spurs have performed fewer matches than fourth-placed Manchester United however can take confidence from their latest report in opposition to City. They did the double over the champions final season and have received 4 of the previous 5 league conferences, whereas head coach Antonio Conte is considered one of just a few managers to have a successful report in opposition to Guardiola (W3 L2).
“Antonio creates issues for everybody, not simply myself,” Guardiola stated. “He beat me so much. He has an unbelievable philosophy and has had success wherever he has been with Siena, Juventus, Chelsea, Inter, and the nationwide group.
“That is as a result of he is an effective supervisor. All good managers all the time have a superb squad, when now we have success now we have good golf equipment and I’d say we each have this idea. We have good groups, it’s a huge problem, he is an effective supervisor and his groups are actually good.
On the problem Tottenham will pose, he added: “Spurs have all the time been a troublesome opponent for the standard, for all of the years. This yr just isn’t an exception.”
De Bruyne accessible for City after lacking coaching
City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is obtainable for the fixture on the Etihad after lacking a coaching session for private causes this week.
The Belgium playmaker was conspicuous by his absence when a TV firm filmed a few of City’s preparations for the sport however Guardiola confirmed there was no critical concern.
“He had a private concern and couldn’t practice however in the present day he’s again,” the City boss stated, earlier than including centre-backs John Stones and Ruben Dias may additionally return after latest harm layoffs.
“They are again. They have each educated rather well within the final two periods. They are in rivalry.”
Watch Manchester City vs Tottenham reside on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm on Thursday; kick-off 8pm.