Pep: We will get bet­ter.. I just need to con­vince the play­ers

Irish Daily Mirror - - SPORT - BY DAVID AN­DER­SON

PEP GUARDI­OLA has told his Manch­ester City play­ers to “be­lieve”, if they want to keep pro­gress­ing. The City boss is de­lighted with the past week as City im­proved on last sea­son’s poor record against their top-six ri­vals by thump­ing Liver­pool 5-0. They also breezed past Feyeno­ord 4-0 to record their first Cham­pi­ons League away win un­der Guardi­ola. But the Spa­niard in­sists they can do even bet­ter if they “be­lieve” dur­ing the most dif­fi­cult mo­ments in matches. “Of course I am so sat­is­fied,” said Guardi­ola. “But my feel­ing is that you can im­prove ev­ery­thing and to try to con­vince them that they can do that. “Last sea­son we were not able to win many games against the top five, top six in the Pre­mier League. “We didn’t win one game away in the Cham­pi­ons League. “First of all, I start with that, to be­lieve. To be­lieve we can play good foot­ball, but also that we can beat them, we can com­pete, even in the Cham­pi­ons League. “That is the best I can offer or what I would like to give to my play­ers, more than the tac­ti­cal is­sues. I think ev­ery player be­lieves, but some­times in a bad sit­u­a­tion or mo­ment we were not able to over­come the sit­u­a­tion. “You have to do that. You have to have a strong men­tal­ity so the play­ers have the per­son­al­ity to play on the big stage.” Guardi­ola can see glimpses of his great Barcelona and Bay­ern Mu­nich sides in City and says they must em­u­late them by win­ning matches like to­day’s trip to un­beaten Wat­ford. City won just three of their eight games af­ter play­ing in the Cham­pi­ons League last sea­son and the man­ager says the elite sides know how to per­form in ev­ery match. “Wat­ford, for ex­am­ple, is a big test for us,” he said. “The big clubs win these games and that is the big dif­fer­ence. The teams I left at Barcelona and Bay­ern, and the other big teams, like Real Madrid and Ju­ven­tus, in this kind of sit­u­a­tion, with a game ev­ery three days, they are there. “They make a pro­fes­sional per­for­mance, score a goal in the right mo­ment and win the game. That is the process we have to dis­cover. “When we are able to do that, then I will feel we have made a step for­ward to be­come a bet­ter team. “Last sea­son, we could com­pete in the games against the top six, but we were not able to win. “That is the gap we have to close this sea­son.”

IT’S NOT ALL TRAIN SAIL­ING Guardi­ola (be­low) and his team had to use a pri­vate jet to get to Lon­don af­ter train prob­lems

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