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Pep Guardiola admits it is “a dream come true” for Manchester City to be fighting for a fourth successive Premier League title as he prepares to face a Nottingham Forest team fuelled by perceived injustice.

City boss Guardiola guided his side to the treble last season but feared the club may not able to sustain its relentless pursuit of silverware this term.

The reigning champions are in control of their own destiny as they prepare to begin their final five top-flight fixtures on Sunday afternoon at what is expected to be a hostile City Ground.

“Of course the teams, especially ours, are tired – it’s normal at the end of the season,” said Guardiola.

“But at the same time, it’s so exciting. Fighting again for the Premier League is a dream come true.

“I could not expect it, honestly. I know the dream was to be there but what happened in the past, I thought this season I might not be able to do it.”

Relegation-threatened Forest have spent the week making headlines with their high-profile criticism of match officials.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s precariously-placed side were furious not to be awarded three penalties during last weekend’s costly 2-0 loss at Everton.

“I’m not there in the locker room for Nottingham Forest so I don’t know how it’s going to impact them – I can imagine but I don’t know,” said Guardiola.

Nottingham Forest left Goodison Park feeling aggrieved
Nottingham Forest left Goodison Park feeling aggrieved (Peter Byrne/PA)

“I’ve been once or twice in that stadium and always the atmosphere is unbelievable so maybe there will be extra for the fact that they are in a relegation battle.

“What I am concerned about is how we control the strikers they have, we have to control the weapons that they have.

“Of course they are going to use the home people to support them but it’s normal.”

City, who are 18 league games unbeaten, kept their title quest on track by thrashing Brighton 4-0 on Thursday evening.

The thumping south-coast success followed an unconvincing 1-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Chelsea at Wembley on the back of the club’s Champions League defence ending on penalties against Real Madrid.

Guardiola feels below-par performances are to be expected in the latter stages of a gruelling campaign but insists winning is all that matters.

Manchester City suffered Champions League heartache at the hands of Real Madrid
Manchester City suffered Champions League heartache at the hands of Real Madrid (Mike Egerton/PA)

He said: “Chelsea was the real proof. We played in difficult conditions. We were not ready to compete against them but we did it.

“We played good? No. We were stable? No. But we found a way to win.

“Sometimes when you play 60, 65 games a season, people say, ‘ah, you’re not playing like the previous games’.

“What do you expect? It’s impossible to play at the highest level all the time – impossible.

“The important thing is when you’re not in your highest level, be consistent and take the points and win games.”