17 Nov Pep Guardiola challenges Manchester City to improve
Pep Guardiola is demanding yet more improvement from Manchester City as he prepares to return to the scene of one of last season’s low points.
City are eight points clear at the top of the Premier League, with a goal difference of plus 31, after dropping just two points in their opening 11 games.
They are already overwhelming favourites to land the title but Guardiola is urging caution ahead of this weekend’s trip to Leicester.
City were thrashed 4-2 at the King Power Stadium by the then champions last December.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, City boss Guardiola said: “I remember that. (It was) one of the lowest (moments).
“It was not easy. After three minutes (we were) 2-0 down. Leicester are such a complicated team in the way they play – runs in behind with (Jamie) Vardy, now Kelechi (Iheanacho), (Shinji) Okazaki is a fighter, (Demari) Gray, (Riyad) Mahrez.
“They play the way they were when (they were) champions with Claudio Ranieri. They play compact and every mistake you concede they punish you.
“They attack so well and in just three, four seconds they create chances. That’s why we have to play intelligent. It is one of the toughest games we have, especially after the international break. It is so important to settle and start in the right way.
“We have to understand we can do better, we can improve. We made good things for the last two months but we still have a lot of things we can do better.
“If you analyse just the results, it’s not a discussion. It’s perfect because we won all the games. But in terms of playing we have to improve and keep going in that level.”
Guardiola allayed fears over the fitness of Sergio Aguero after the striker was taken ill while playing for Argentina in midweek. Aguero underwent tests in hospital following reports he had fainted.
Guardiola said: “He arrived (back) two days ago. He made (tests) with the doctors. The control is perfect. He was conscious all the time with Argentina. He is OK, nothing to be worried (about).”
Guardiola refused to offer his opinions on Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger’s complaints about Raheem Sterling a fortnight ago. Wenger claimed Sterling “dives well” after the forward won a penalty in City’s 3-1 defeat of the Gunners.
“No comments,” Guardiola said. “Leicester is the most important thing. It was one century ago, what happened against Arsenal – two weeks ago. We’re going to focus on Leicester.”