Manchester City remain in the hunt for glory on four fronts this season but Pep Guardiola’s focus is not wavering from the more immediate challenge of a trip to struggling Fulham on Saturday.
As domestic action resumes following the international break, the Premier League champions have the chance to return to the summit with a win at Craven Cottage, a day before leaders Liverpool host Tottenham at Anfield.
Having already lifted the EFL Cup, City have an FA Cup semi-final against Brighton and Hove Albion still to come, prior to a Champions League quarter-final meeting with Spurs.
Not since Manchester United in 2008-09 has a club retained the Premier League title, and Guardiola – winner of successive crowns with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich – insists his players are under no illusions regarding the size of the task ahead of them.
“They know it’s 11  years since it happened, we’ve told them from the beginning how difficult it is,” he told a media conference.
“We’ve spoken the last two months, there is no time to regret, no time to demand something for the others, we put everything we have into every competition.”
— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 29, 2019
Asked for his thoughts on what it takes to successfully defend the title, Guardiola replied with a smile: “Win every game…follow the manager. I think it’s good sense to think about going there and thinking if we don’t win we are not going to win the competition.
“We have to play with this kind of mentality, don’t think about draws, or the next game.”
Far from feeling the pressure of a hectic run of fixtures, Guardiola is eagerly anticipating City’s end to the season, which could encompass as many as 15 more games.
“I’m looking forward [to it], I don’t think too much,” he said. “I saw fresh all the games we had, which kind of games they are. One game helps with the next.
“I’m always a bit curious as to how we’ll react to keep going if we are disappointed. It’s happened just once for the treble, nobody has won four. We cannot demand to do it. Don’t put pressure on it.
“It’s Fulham and we try to win. If we get a bad result and lose then how do we react? That’s what I’m curious about.
“That’s what I’m talking about, I’m not thinking about dropping points, we are not going to lose the Premier League tomorrow. It [losing] can happen, but in the Premier League there are many games to play.”
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