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Monday 23 January 2017

'I'm happy at City' - Pep

'I love my job and I am in the perfect place to do my job' - Guardiola

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has backed his FA Cup rival Pep Guardiola to be a success at Manchester City
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has backed his FA Cup rival Pep Guardiola to be a success at Manchester City
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has dismissed talk of an early retirement and insisted he is fully

Pep Guardiola has insisted he has no intention of retiring any time soon and claimed England is in the "perfect place" for him as a manager.

Speaking ahead of tonight's FA cup third round clash with West Ham at London Stadium, the Manchester City boss clarified some remarks he made in an interview with NBC, which was aired before Monday's Premier Leaguue win over Burnley.

Many media outlets picked up on comments that Guardiola was already thinking about his retirement, but he was keen to stress this is not imminent.

He said: "I said in the interview I am not going to be training when I am 60 years old.

"But guys, I am 45! I am not going to retire in two or three years. I love my job and am in the perfect place to do my job, especially here in England.

"I won't be training at 60 years because I want to do something else in my life. I started playing football as a young guy and my whole career was on the pitch, so I want to do something else in my life. But not in the next three, four, five or seven years.

"Maybe it was inappropriate to say I am starting to say goodbye to my career, but I know what I am thinking about when I am going to retire." Other comments which were seized upon were about how Guardiola viewed City as being behind the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona and Juventus, but he was speaking in a historical context.

He said: "When I said compare history and titles with United and Liverpool, Barcelona and Madrid, that kind of club, we are behind. If people don't understand that, I am sorry. In terms of just titles, we are behind other clubs in the last 20 years.

Grateful

"But the moment I took charge of a club like Manchester City, or before in Barcelona or Munich, it is the most important thing in my life to try to help them, to get them better.

"In the last five or six years Manchester City have been the best club. They are the club who have achieved the most. In terms of targets of getting better, of growing, of achieving the most, they are the best in the world, by far.

"We are going to fight until the end of the season for all the titles, of course, but I never said this club is below the others right now.

"Always I will be grateful to the people who asked me to come here."

On the win over Burnely, after which Guardiola gave a series of terse interviews, he insisted he was "so happy" with City's victory.

He said: "We won playing for 65 minutes, 10 against 11, two days after playing at Anfield, so I was so happy about our victory, an important victory, as dropping points to Burnley could have made it difficult for our future.

"I was so happy about how we won the game - we won a fantastic game. That is what it is."

Meanwhile, Guardiola's opponent tonight, Slaven Bilic insists the Spaniard can handle the heat of the Premier League.

"I saw his interview but maybe he was just tired after a couple of games in three days," said the Hammers manager.

"Maybe after the great start they made some fans or pundits expected them to cruise in the league, especially with Guardiola.

"But it is never easy in any league, especially here. They are not struggling but for their standards, to be however many points from the top is probably not what they expected.

"In Germany and Spain the leagues are very competitive. With Bayern you are more likely to be a champion, but you have Dortmund and during his time Wolfsburg were there and a few other clubs. None of the games were easy.

"In the Primera Liga you are not guaranteed. He didn't win the title every year in Barcelona. You have Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid were flying.

"If Bayern are not top of the table it's a big thing. It's big pressure there. This is the kind of club he's got used to working in.

"He's never worked in a smaller club, he's never fought against relegation or mid-table or anything different than 'we have to win the league'."

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