Belfast Telegraph

Guardiola warns Man City players not to ease up despite winning title

The manager has his sights set on a series of Premier League records.

Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are now chasing records
Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are now chasing records

Pep Guardiola hopes newly-crowned champions Manchester City can end their end their outstanding Premier League campaign by breaking a series of records.

City have secured the title with five games to spare but Guardiola does not want his players to ease up.

Such has been City’s dominance this season that new best marks for most wins, most goals and most points in a Premier League season are within their reach.

Guardiola feels they could provide good motivation for the closing weeks of the season.

He said: “In the past I won the league at Barcelona and Bayern Munich five, six or seven games before (the end) and the next five or six games were not good. We tried to keep going but we were not able.

“Maybe to think about that – how many points we can get – can be a good argument to keep going with what we have to do.

“Of course what we should do in the Premier League is already done, the important thing is winning the title. But maybe that can help us to be focused.”

The records for most wins, most goals and most points stand at 30, 103 and 95 respectively – marks all held by Chelsea. City’s current figures are 28, 93 and 87.

With a 16-point lead at the top of the table, City could also break Manchester United’s record final winning margin of 18 points from 1999-2000.

Guardiola’s determination to maintain momentum could be seen as a warning to players, because he wants to use the closing games of the campaign to assess potential changes for next season.

He said: “Now is the time, these weeks before we finish the season, to start thinking about the squad. The same people, (or) new people. The same with the staff. What do we have to change. Thinking about new training sessions.

“We have to change a few things to make a step forward and that’s the challenge.”

In addition to that, Guardiola also feels it would be disrespectful to the competition to allow standards to slip.

He said: “It would be uncomfortable to finish in a bad way in the next five games. In the training sessions we will insist there are still games to play – (out of) respect for the five opponents and the rest of the competition.

“Always, for athletes, there has to be a target. When the target is already done what is the target to fight for?”

City host Swansea on Sunday in their first outing since being confirmed as champions.

Guardiola said: “They are playing to stay in the Premier League. We have to convince the players they have got to be ready to face them.”



From Belfast Telegraph