Friday, December 15, 2017

Guardiola unmoved by Manchester City favourite tag

SoccerNews in English Premier League 11 Aug 2017

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Pep Guardiola is unmoved by Manchester City’s standing as pre-season favourites for the Premier League title.

Guardiola has added five first-team players courtesy of an estimated £200million spending spree in the close-season, overhauling City’s defence in particular.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss presided over his first season without a trophy as a senior coach last term, as City failed to live up to their billing and fell well short of champions Chelsea.

Having been installed as favourites once again, Guardiola refuses to get carried away, with a trip to newly promoted Brighton and Hove Albion their first hurdle on Saturday.

“Last season we were [favourites] too and we finished 15 points behind [Chelsea],” Guardiola told a news conference.

“Last season in my first press conference we were the favourites so nothing has changed. I was confident last season too. 

“It’s the same pressure as I had last season. We are here to win the games and titles. 

“The big fail now takes one week in football. 

“I’m honest in my job. I will do my best like I did last season. If the club decides [I am] not able, we are going to take a solution.

“I feel the same pressure as Barcelona when I arrived. People say in [the] first press conference we are favourites. We have to deal with that and handle that. We are going to see at the end of the season what happens, knowing how difficult it is.”

New signing Benjamin Mendy and long-term injury victim Ilkay Gundogan are unavailable to face Brighton, and Guardiola is wary of the challenge Chris Hughton’s side will pose.

“From my experience, in the beginning of the season the new teams are the toughest ones,” he added.

“We spoke and I saw how tough the league is last season. Every game is a battle. 

“It doesn’t matter if it’s the top teams or lower teams. The first four, five, six games are so complicated, especially away. It will not be easy but we travel to win the game.”

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