Belfast Telegraph

Pep Guardiola in a curious mood after Manchester City beat Burnley

Pep Guardiola has suggested he is approaching the end of his coaching career.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is just six months into his latest assignment at Manchester City.

Guardiola recently said he does not intend to emulate Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and spend 20 years in the job, but it now seems he is already thinking about the end of his career.

The Spaniard made the revelation in an interview with NBC, which was publicised soon after City ground out a hard-fought 2-1 win over Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.

"I will be at Manchester for the next three seasons, maybe more, but I am arriving at the end of my coaching career, of this I am sure," said the 45-year-old.

"I will not be on the bench until I am 60 or 65 years old. I feel that the the process of my goodbye has already started."

Guardiola was asked about this at his post-match press conference but, after giving a series of terse interviews following the fractious victory, elaborated little.

"It might be one of my last teams," he said.

Asked why he might chose to retire, he said: "Because I decide so."

Guardiola was in no great mood for media commitments after being frustrated by a number of decisions in a laboured 2-1 win over the Clarets.

Chief among them was the sending off of Fernandinho - a third red card for the Brazilian in six appearances - while Guardiola was also frustrated a Ben Mee strike was allowed to stand.

Mee's 70th-minute effort, after goalkeeper Claudio Bravo lost out in an aerial challenge with Sam Vokes, set up a nervy ending after goals from Gael Clichy and Sergio Aguero had put City in command.

Asked about the Fernandinho incident by the BBC, Guardiola said: "You're the journalist not me."

Asked for his thoughts, Guardiola added: "Ask the referee not me."

When the matter was put to him in the press conference, Guardiola attempted to change the subject to discuss the Burnley goal.

He said: "I didn't see it, but I saw the fault (foul) for Claudio Bravo, that was definite. Now we are going to accept the three or four games (ban for Fernandinho) but remember it was a fault (for Bravo)."

He added: "All around the world, the Burnley goal on Claudio Bravo is a fault [foul]. Here, and all around the world, the rules say the goalkeeper in the six-yard box cannot be touched.

"But okay so I have to adapt and I have to understand there are special rules here in England. Now I learn, so now we're going to play."

When asked about his side's performance, Guardiola sarcastically said "we are not good enough" before suggesting his team needs time to improve.

He said: "We are there with the problems we had and adapting in this league. All the people show me in the first leg (first half of the season) how difficult it is in this league, so thank you for that. We are going to learn again but we are there. We won a difficult game.

"After what happened in Anfield, to play 60 minutes two days later with 10 men, the players deserve all my credit, all my respect like football professionals. I love them and like to work with them a lot."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche viewed the red card for Fernandinho, shown in the 32nd minute after the Brazilian jumped into a tackle on Johann Berg Gudmundsson, as "a sending-off by modern standards" and said he could see nothing wrong with his side's goal, with there only being "honest challenges" from them as it was scored.

Dyche also suggested Bacary Sagna, who was booked, should have been dismissed over an incident involving the City defender and Burnley's George Boyd shortly after Mee's goal.

"I think it is a tough one, because they have given the goal, Boydy is trying to get the ball, the linesman probably is a long way from it and the I think referee is running back towards the centre," Dyche said.

"But, of course, it is a sending off because he (Sagna) swipes out at Boydy.

"I can only presume the referee and the linesman didn't get a clear view of it, so then probably they are wondering what did happen but there is enough response for them to make a decision.

"I think maybe the linesman saw it to give the yellow card, but I don't think he saw enough of it to understand it was an actual kick out."

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