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Wednesday 28 September 2016

Hugs and kicks: Pep

City boss says he must prove himself as he plans tough love for players

Pep Guardiola waves at Manchester City supporters during his question and answer session at the club’s academy. Photo: Oli Scarff/GettyImages
Pep Guardiola waves at Manchester City supporters during his question and answer session at the club’s academy. Photo: Oli Scarff/GettyImages

Pep Guardiola was introduced to the Manchester City fans for the first time yesterday and told them he is relishing the challenge of furthering his managerial credentials in England, promising an era of 'hugs and kicks up the backside'.

The 45-year-old has signed a three-year deal at City and will hope to repeat the trophy-laden spells he enjoyed at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, where he won six league titles, a pair of Champions Leagues and four domestic cups across the two countries.

However, the more competitive nature of the Premier League means Guardiola faces arguably his greatest task yet in delivering domestic and continental success for his new club.

Almost 6,000 thousand supporters were present for a question and answer session with Guardiola at the team's academy base, with his first official press conference due to take place next week, and the Spanish boss insisted he had taken the post as Manuel Pellegrini's successor because he wanted to test himself in England.

"That is why I am here," he said. "I proved myself where I was born in Barcelona and after I proved myself in Germany and I want to prove myself here.

"To try, every game, every weekend that Manchester City play, that the people can be proud and enjoy our way to play. At the end, we will see what is our level to achieve our prizes, our titles.

"But I want the people who love football to be proud of what we did, that is the most important thing."

The man at the helm stressed he needs to learn about his players first and in particular which ones need a dose of tough love.

"First I have to meet my players, I have to know them. I know them from TV but I have to know them, I have to hug them, kick their arse and after I need time to know them. I have an idea but I need time," he said.

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