‘HAPPY’ PEP TALKS OF EXTENDING HIS STAY AT CITY
GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH CHAIRMAN KEY TO PEP’S FUTURE AT BLUES
PEP Guardiola has revealed he is open to the idea of extending his City contract beyond the end of next season.
His current deal expires at the end of 2020/21, when he will have served five years at the Etihad – the longest stay he’s ever had at a club.
Asked if he would considering extending that deal, Guardiola said: “I’m open [to it] yes, I’m so comfortable working with this club.
“When you are five years it depends on the results. We will see what happens this season and next season.
“I want to see the club, I want to see the players, I want to see how we are still working together. That is the most important thing after five years together.”
Guardiola’s wife, Cristina, and the couple’s youngest daughter recently returned to Barcelona for business reasons, but the Blues boss, who lives in a city centre apartment, is still enjoying life in Manchester.
“I knew how tough this league is and I’m comfortable with the payers, they’re incredible, and it is a joy to train with them.
“We know how well they react when they don’t win, they win and they don’t play good, want to improve and when you see it it’s a dream come true as a manager and that’s what we have to continue.”
Guardiola also revealed how his relationship with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak plays a big factor in him wanting to stay at City.
He said: “I’m delighted to work in this club, especially with my chairman. We’re comfortable, talking about the club. He’s an incredibly humble person and one of the nicest I’ve ever met.”
PEP Guardiola has pinpointed the tactical problem which has led to City leaking goals.
The Blues have conceded 14 goals in their first 14 Premier League fixtures, more than at any time in the last decade.
And that statistic sees them sitting in third place in the table, nine points behind leaders Liverpool, as they head for Newcastle.
The defensive frailty reared its head again in midweek as City could only draw 1-1 at home to Shakhtar Donetsk, although the result was good enough to see them top their Champions League group.
Guardiola was asked to explain what the problem was, and joked that he would need a video machine and tactics board to explain it properly.
But he summarised the difficulty as being a case of the team not controlling counter-attacks as well as they have in the past.
“We (need to) concede fewer counter attacks than normal, they (the players) know we are a team that have to control perfectly the counter-attacks from the opponent,” said Guardiola.
“They know what they have to do. You saw against Shakhtar we were much, much better than them, the first half we suffered a little bit, and the second half they had the goal and nothing else.
“You have to adjust a little bit to situations, that’s all.”
Asked to go into more detail, Guardiola said: “The players know but it’s complicated to explain. I give you a lot of credit as a journalist, but we’d need a machine to explain that when we lose the ball, trying not to concede a counter-attack, it’s simple.
“Sometimes we lose the ball in positions we don’t have to lose, sometimes we want to start on one side and finish on the other side.
“We attack quicker, make more passes and more presses, and it helps to be together - it’s not just one thing.
“The other thing helps us to be more solid as a team. It happened in the last two games and we are going to try to adjust it. If it doesn’t happen, we have another game to adjust it.
“We know what happened in the past. If we can control it, we’re a more solid team.” Guardiola also said that opposition teams have become better at dealing with City’s high press. “The team normally, in the first and second season, pressed the long ball,” he said. “Now teams are getting better, using the ‘keeper. They let you run more. You saw it in the Champions League - you see Shakhtar, when they had the ball, the left centre back had a lot of quality. It’s not because we doing wrong, it’s because the other ones are doing well.”
We know what happened in the past. If we can control it we’re a more solid team
City boss Pep Guardiola