Pep sends Barca warn­ing ahead of Euro clash

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

PEP GUARDI­OLA has warned his for­mer club Barcelona: I’m com­ing back to beat you.

The Manch­ester City boss has been un­bowed by a win-less run of three matches and says he will not aban­don his prin­ci­ples just to avoid de­feat on his re­turn to his spir­i­tual home in the Cham­pi­ons League to­mor­row.

“Not too many teams have won there in re­cent years but I never ap­proach a game think­ing a draw will be a good re­sult,” he said.

“We have four games left in our group and we need to win two to be in the next round. And we are go­ing to try to get the first of those points in the next game, that is for sure.

“I know the way we want to play but, of course, we have to un­der­stand ex­actly who we are fac­ing. Will a draw be a good re­sult? It de­pends on the game.

“If we play like we did against Ever­ton then it is not a good re­sult. But if Barcelona play much bet­ter than us then maybe it is a good re­sult.”

Guardi­ola is ready to leave penalty-taking re­spon­si­bil­i­ties with Ser­gio Aguero even though the striker has missed an as­ton­ish­ing six spot­kicks in 2016.

Aguero fol­lowed up his miss for Ar­gentina against Paraguay last week by see­ing his tame ef­fort saved by Ever­ton’s Maarten Steke­len­burg – who also saved one from Kevin De Bruyne - on Sat­ur­day.

Aguero missed two penal­ties in a mat­ter of min­utes dur­ing City’s away win over Steaua Bucharest in August and last sea­son had spot­kicks saved against As­ton Villa in March and Paris St Ger­main in April.

And Ever­ton boss Ron­aldo Koe­man reck­ons Aguero might have a “men­tal prob­lem” if City are awarded a spot­kick in the Nou Camp, where he missed one in 2015.

But Guardi­ola is pre­pared to leave a de­ci­sion up to lead­ing scorer Aguero.

“I love the play­ers who have the per­son­al­ity to take the penal­ties,” he said. “So I will never say to a player who wants to take the penal­ties, ‘No, I want some­one else to take them’.

“He’s in­tel­li­gent so if he’s not feel­ing con­fi­dent like this, then he will say, ‘I’ll step back and let another guy to kick the penalty’.

Asked if Aguero had the char­ac­ter to take one in the Nou Camp he replied: “Yes.”

But Koe­man said: “It is maybe a lit­tle bit of a men­tal ques­tion for Augero be­cause it is not the first time he has missed.” – Ex­press News­pa­pers

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