Guardiola grateful to Manchester City

Guardiola grateful to Manchester City

City boss Pep Guardiola says he is grateful that the hierarchy at the club has given him time to settle, despite a relatively poor season last year.

The Sky Blues failed to win any silverware last season, and many began to speculate about whether or not Guardiola was the right man for the job at the club.

But despite questions about his ability to manage in the Premier League, his side now sits top of the Premier League and unbeaten all season. City are widely believed to be one of the best teams in the world at the moment, and speaking exclusively to Sky Sports, the boss admitted he is glad the powers that be gave him more time to succeed.

“Last season, we were not able to win one game away in the Champions League and this season we have won two, and hopefully against Shakhtar Donetsk we can do so again,” he said.

“The people expect that when a new manager comes it, that it can instantly work and sometimes people forget that you need time to settle something.

“Get the players to know each other, to trust each other, to know everything about the Premier League – the opponents, the style of play, the referees – and it doesn’t matter how much success you had in the past or not, you need time sometimes.

“Fortunately, I am a lucky guy and I have a club where they give me time to do that, so I don’t have the feeling that they don’t trust me and that is fascinating. That’s why I’m so happy to be here.

“I think the players know that we can do what we do and it is tough for the opponent. That is the feeling we have right now but sometimes the opponent is better, like Napoli.

“We did quite well but they are outstanding so I accept that reality. You need to be mentally strong to recover and to take our moment and come back. The feeling is that we do what we have done, and that is tough for the opponents. We want to continue showing everything we can in every game.”

Guardiola has made some fantastic signings for the club during his tenure so far, including many young stars who have been extremely impressive.

“It’s a normal situation because the important generation of players over the last few years got older so it’s simple like that. You have to change like you change the manager or change the players, it is what it is.

“Of course it [the squad] is younger, with our strikers and midfielders, then there is Phil [Foden] and the new ones coming through so that’s good to have. You have the young ones in our side who are protected with older players like Yaya Toure and Nicholas Otamendi, and we need players who have that experience.

“We play in the Champions League sometimes with the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Leory Sane, and I think the age is 21 years on average so in playing on the bigger stages, that is good for the future of the club.”

One young player who is on the cusp of the first team is Foden, who was named player of the tournament as England won the U17 World Cup, and Guardiola is tipping him to make it on the big stage.

“We trust him a lot, but it depends on the passion that he has. We cannot forget that he is 17 or 18 years old competing with the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure and Bernardo Silva and that step to the first team is not easy,” he added.

“But I know that he has passion and he will be there. It depends on him, if he wants to stay or move, but we are going to do absolutely everything because we said how good he is before he was nominated as the best player in the World Cup so there is no doubt in how much he believes in himself.

“His next step is to train all year with us and get the rhythm of the training session and how to compete against all these players one-on-one. If he understands that, then he will have a space to play in the season and the next and so on in the team. It depends on him.”