Belfast Telegraph

More goals is what Pep Guardiola wants at Manchester City

Pep Guardiola says scoring more goals is his top priority as he looks ahead to his second season as Manchester City manager.

The Spaniard believes his side's wastefulness in front of goal has been their main weakness during a disappointing campaign.

City were regarded as one of the Premier League title favourites last August but go into their final game at Watford on Sunday still needing a point to secure a top-four place.

"I have learned you have to score more goals," said Guardiola. "Especially at home we dropped a lot of points.

"We can accept an opponent creating two, three or maybe four chances - it is impossible to avoid that - but we didn't score enough goals at home.

"So, we have to play a little bit better to create more chances to score goals if we want to reduce that gap. Then maybe our gap against Chelsea and Tottenham will be shorter. If we don't, it will be the same."

City are third in the table, 15 points behind champions Chelsea and eight below Spurs.

Victory this weekend will clinch third but with Liverpool two points back and Arsenal just another behind them, Champions League football is not yet guaranteed.

Securing third, and direct entry to Europe's top club competition, would put the club in good heart for the summer and aid recruitment during what is expected to be a close-season revamp.

Guardiola, however, believes he already has the attacking power he needs, but must coax more goals out of a number of players. He cited the example of Kevin De Bruyne, who has scored only five times this season but gone close to more by hitting the woodwork nine times in the Premier League and once in Europe.

He said: "Kevin De Bruyne is the player with the mosts assists in the league (16) and he made 10, 11, 12 crossbars. So the difference between the crossbar and the goal is maybe centimetres.

"If you just score half of those situations maybe it is seven or eight more points. It is just to be a little bit more precise in those situations. I think we have the quality of players to score goals."

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