Thursday 13 December 2018

Pep has eye on 'beauty' in the city

New boss has 'simple' plan

New Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: Phil Noble
New Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: Phil Noble

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.

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 Barcelona, 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."

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 Champion 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.

"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 three days after Jose Mourinho was unveiled as the new Man 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.

"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."

He 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.

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