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Pep Guardiola refuses to take any credit for lower division sides playing in the style of his all-conquering Manchester City team.

A greater number of clubs beneath the Premier League are now looking to play out from the back, dominate possession and pass their way through opponents in the manner at which City have excelled.

That could be testament to Guardiola’s extraordinary success in his near-eight years at the Etihad Stadium, but it is not something he is aware of.

Manchester City celebrate winning the Champions League
City’s fluid style carried them to the treble last season (Nick Potts/PA)

“I don’t have time to see other teams,” said Guardiola, whose treble-winning side begin their FA Cup defence against Championship outfit Huddersfield at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

“Always I believe teams play what the manager believes in, first for the players they have and they adapt.

“If one team plays high pressing it is because the manager believes in that, if a team play long balls it is because the manager believes in that. This is the most important thing but I don’t know.

“I have watched Leicester a little bit because in their last game they played Huddersfield and because (former assistant) Enzo (Maresca) is there, and I am curious and happy for how incredible he’s doing but, the rest, I don’t have time.”

Guardiola intends to make the most of City’s lighter schedule this month by getting through extra work on the training field, including at a warm-weather camp in Abu Dhabi.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (left) and fitness coach Lorenzo Buenaventura
Guardiola (left) is looking forward to spending more time on the training ground (Martin Rickett/PA)

After playing nine games in December, including two in Saudi Arabia for the Club World Cup, City have just three fixtures in January, although that will increase to four if they beat the Terriers in their third-round tie.

Guardiola said: “The Premier League took a great decision to make Boxing Day and Christmastime intense, like it always has been, and then to take a break in January.

“It helps a lot to arrive in February fresh mentally. It’s good now to have the FA Cup, to try to retain the title or go as far as possible, and after that we have a really important game at Newcastle.

“Then after that two weeks to refresh our minds. We will have more time to train in Abu Dhabi, to remember things that you cannot do normally.

“You have to try to do things you don’t have time to do in the busy schedule. We can refresh concepts we maybe forgot because we don’t have time to train.”