Pep Guardiola believes Manchester United remain one of football’s leading clubs and feels criticism of his old rival Jose Mourinho simply comes with the territory of top-flight management.
Mourinho made another impassioned defence of his own managerial record on Friday, addressing the media ahead of Sunday’s trip to Burnley on the back of consecutive losses against Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham.
Despite champions City’s own Premier League slip-up in a 1-1 draw at Wolves last time out, there is a contrasting air of serenity around Guardiola’s camp as they prepare for the visit of Newcastle United on Saturday.
When the struggles of his once-bitter adversary from their days at Barcelona and Real Madrid were brought up, the 47-year-old was in a conciliatory mood.
“It’s our job, unfortunately. It’s happened to me in the past. As manager, our job depends on results,” Guardiola said.
“When we win we are good, when we do not win we are not good. It is simple like that.
“The important thing is to know the quality of the managers. I believe when they get to this level in the Premier League it is because they are top, top managers.
“[United] remain a great team, a top team. We are just in August. They are there [the bottom half of the table] but it is just in August and there are a lot of points to play for now.”
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 31, 2018
Guardiola asked his players to call on the reserves that saw them to a record-breaking points haul last season by not allowing one negative result to follow another when Newcastle arrive at the Etihad Stadium.
“We dropped two points at Wolves,” he said. “One of the secrets of last season is the days after we didn’t get three points we won.
“We didn’t make bad results two or three in a row a that is one of the reasons why we got what we got last season.”
City were boosted by a seemingly generous Champions League group draw in Thursday, being placed alongside Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon and Hoffenheim, but their manager is taking nothing for granted.
“The Champions League, every season from my point of view, is tougher and tougher. The teams are better and better, so we will see,” he added.
“We will see after the last game at home against Hoffenheim in December, whether it was easy or difficult. I will tell you then.”
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