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Pep Guardiola: Manchester City must improve to win major trophies this season

Published 12/09/2016

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is expecting improvement from his side
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is expecting improvement from his side

Pep Guardiola claims his Manchester City team must improve to win major trophies this season.

Guardiola's men received widespread praise for a lot of their play, particularly in the first half, in Saturday's 2-1 derby defeat of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

That success in the Premier League was City's sixth victory in succession since Guardiola took charge but the Spaniard insists his there is still much to work on.

The Spaniard said: "We have to improve a lot of things.

"Now, after four games in the Premier League, I would like to tell our fans that, (while) we may be first, (with) the way we have played up until now, it will not be enough to win the title.

"So we have to improve to win the Premier League, from what I saw in these three or four games.

"Of course, we are so happy for the results, for the numbers and the way we're playing after two months.

"But it is not enough to win the Premier League or achieve the big, big targets in the Champions League."

Guardiola was speaking ahead of City's Champions League Group C opener against Borussia Monchengladbach at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

His appointment has brought high hopes City can achieve great things in the competition with the 45-year-old having reached the semi-final stage in the last seven seasons with either Barcelona or Bayern Munich.

On two of those occasions, both at Barca, he went on to win the trophy but he points out he is not a miracle worker. By comparison City's European stature is small, with last season's run to the last four being their best effort in only five previous attempts.

Guardiola said: "For the people asking me to win the Champions League here now, at Manchester City - I really have to be a good coach. I will try but the history is the history.

"I never, when I start the season, say when I win the Premier League or don't, or win the Champions League or don't, how I will be judged. I try to do my best."

Guardiola has continued to play down the psychological impact of the derby win at the weekend. Many pundits have said City's performance - even if not reflected in the scoreline - has laid down an important marker because it was so superior at times to that of United, another of the country's heavyweights.

But Guardiola said: "We made good things and bad things and we have to improve for the future. Of course we are happy but that is all. It is just three points."

One negative aspect for City has been the criticism levelled at goalkeeper Claudio Bravo after a difficult debut.

The Chilean, signed from Barcelona for £17million last month, made the mistake which led to United's goal and had several other anxious moments.

Guardiola, who controversially axed England number one Joe Hart, was again forced to defend his man.

He said: "He is so strong. I saw the game (again) yesterday we played against United to realise the things we made good and which things we have to improve.

"I saw the goal and what happened in the three or four actions after when he received the ball. He showed huge personality. That is what I tried to say after the game. I was convinced before the game and after seeing it again it is the same.

"But I am going to tell you something. Claudio Bravo, Willy (Caballero) and Angus (Gunn) are going to make mistakes in the future, they are not going to save all the goals and opponents are going to score goals. I am pretty sure of that."

Guardiola has now turned his attention to the Champions League and the visit Monchengladbach. In a group which includes favourites Barcelona, City are keen to get off to a good start.

Guardiola said: "They are a brave team, (with a) brave coach - one of the best teams in Europe. They have a lot of quality. The draw was difficult for us, Barcelona was there, especially with Gladbach."

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