I want to play the way I want, says new boss Pep

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

NEW Manch­ester City man­ager Pep Guardi­ola has come to Eng­land to prove him­self and wants to pro­duce the “beau­ti­ful foot­ball” for which his teams are famed, he said yes­ter­day.

Speak­ing at his first news con­fer­ence since join­ing the club, the for­mer Barcelona and Bay­ern Mu­nich coach said his per­sonal learn­ing curve would be steep as he came to terms with his new team and adapted to the rigours of the Pre­mier League.

“It’s the right mo­ment to come here and prove my­self,” he said. Asked if he could get City to play the sort of beau­ti­ful foot­ball trade­marked by Barca, he added: “That’s why I am here. I want to play the way I want. But wher­ever you go, you have to adapt to the qual­ity of the play­ers. We have to find each other as soon as pos­si­ble.

“What we want is so sim­ple. When the op­po­si­tion have the ball to get it back; when we have it, to move it as quickly as pos­si­ble, to cre­ate the most chances as pos­si­ble,” he added.

An­swer­ing ques­tions in English, Span­ish and Cata­lan, he said he rel­ished the ex­pec­ta­tion in his new role and added this job could be the big­gest chal­lenge of a nine-year coach­ing ca­reer in which he has won five league ti­tles and two Cham­pi­ons Leagues.

“In my ca­reer, peo­ple are always mak­ing de­mands of my teams. But it is good to live with that pres­sure.

“In Eng­land, it is dif­fi­cult to find a team that wins five games in a row. That is the chal­lenge and we are go­ing to try and win more points.

“You have to un­der­stand our body lan­guage – maybe we will not be able to win ev­ery day, but we are go­ing to try. It could be the big­gest chal­lenge (of my ca­reer) be­cause City have not won as many ti­tles as Barca or Bay­ern. I don’t know.

“We are go­ing to train to win as many matches as pos­si­ble. It is bet­ter to be with that pres­sure.”

Guardi­ola, who said he had not been set any tar­gets by the club’s hirearchy, was speak­ing af­ter Jose Mour­inho was un­veiled as the new Manch­ester United man­ager.

The pair were famed for their ri­valry in Spain when Mour­inho was in charge at Real Madrid, but Guardi­ola sought to play down the po­ten­tial for re­newed con­flict be­tween them.

“I think Jose said it pretty well the other day, it is not about him or me. It is so tough to win here. We played many times against each other and the best coaches helped me reach an­other level as a coach. They made me bet­ter. But all man­agers want to win – and it is the same here.”

City’s new man­ager would not be drawn on the prospect of any ad­di­tions to a squad which has al­ready been strength­ened by the ar­rival of 19-year-old mid­fielder Olek­sandr Zinchenko from Rus­sian club FC Ufa and striker Nolito from Celta Vigo.

Asked about City’s Eng­land play­ers, goal­keeper Joe Hart and winger Ra­heem Ster­ling, both of whom were crit­i­cised for medi­ocre per­for­mances at Euro 2016, Guardi­ola said he would like to have an English core to his squad.

“I am cu­ri­ous about Ster­ling. The money they paid for him was always in the mind of the peo­ple. But I am looking for­ward to help­ing him so he can show us what a good player he is,” said Guardi­ola.

Man­ager Jur­gen Klopp has ex­tended his con­tract with Liver­pool, less than a year since join­ing the club, the English Pre­mier League side an­nounced yes­ter­day.

The 49-year old took over from Bren­dan Rodgers in Oc­to­ber, af­ter a sev­enyear stint with Borus­sia Dort­mund, where he won two German League ti­tles and reached the fi­nals of the Cham­pi­ons League.

The German’s initial deal with Liver­pool ran un­til 2018, with an op­tion of ex­tend­ing it a fur­ther year, and while no de­tails of the ex­ten­sion were dis­closed, Bri­tish me­dia re­ported that Klopp has signed a six-year con­tract. – Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.