"It has been a successful era for this club!" - Pep Guardiola pre Palace Press Conference
Ahead of Saturday's midday Premier League game vs Crystal Palace, on the weekend the blues could secure the Premier League title, Pep Guardiola spoke to the media to discuss a range of topics.
Pep was first asked what his plans are for Sunday, with Manchester United facing Liverpool. A loss for United would secure a third title in four years for the blues.
"Let me travel to London this afternoon, try to wake up tomorrow good and try to win the game. The rest we cannot control. Crystal Palace has always been so difficult for us. I don't remember an easy game. It is all we can do."
Guardiola was then asked about the social media boycott which is happening from 3 pm today. All footballers, clubs, and broadcasters will stop posting on their socials until Monday at 23:59.
"I'm not one to tell the players about their personal lives. They have to decide for themselves. Respect others like a normal position in our lives. What they want to do, they want to do. I speak for myself, maybe it is a drop of water in the ocean but at the same time it is a good initiative because everything is related to education. We're going to follow it."
On experiencing winning the title for the third time, Pep said:
"Let me try to win at Crystal Palace. Don't ask me what I will feel when I still haven't experienced it because it didn't happen. I know you're curious to anticipate it but we saw yesterday another example of the contender we are up against. United is an extraordinary team and we need five points to be champions. Tomorrow we have an incredible opportunity to make this step. Once we win this game, we will think about what will happen and then you can ask me whatever about my feelings. All i can do now is recover as well as possible from the game we played in Paris. It is our sixth game in a row away. it is a lot of travel and we are tired in many aspects and that's why we travel there, we play tomorrow at 12.30 we have no extra time to recover from Paris and we have to focus on what we can do to pick up an important victory to be closer than ever to being champions after playing for 10 months. I'm sorry not to answer your question but this is the reality."
"United is an extraordinary team and we need five points to be champions. Tomorrow we have an incredible opportunity to make this step."
City are currently on an 18-match win streak away from home after coming from behind to beat PSG, and Pep was quizzed on why the away form is better than at home.
" I don't know! I don't have the answers. We miss our fans. I don't know. We had better results against United away than at home, it's like that. I cannot answer you. At home, it is not a big advantage without fans, when you play in Paris it is not a big difference from next Tuesday because there are no fans. I don't have an explanation. The point, in general, is what we have shown this season home and away is so good in terms of consistency. We drop points at home but not many. I'm only concerned with winning the five points we need to be champions."
Pep was then asked what the reason behind success this season is.
"The success of the season so far is the quality and humanity of the players. The second is not thinking too far ahead and of course, all the managers want to ask the players to express themselves as who they are as a team. In important games where you don't have a second chance, Palace is an important game but in knockout games like Chelsea, Tottenham, or Paris there are no half chances and the approach is to try to reach our level in this stage. There will be another example next Tuesday. But without the quality and the humanity of the players, you can demand or suggest something but if they don't have it then we don't have it."
Pep was then asked to rate this side after they overcame diversity to win the Carabao Cup and are on course to win two more trophies.
"In our period together these five seasons together it is the same like the first PL we won. We are almost the same guys with the same identity. Like the era, it involves more people - Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon took over the club and that enabled the development of the players, the facilities, all departments of the club. I feel it - I know from Barcelona and Bayern Munich so I know what I'm talking about. This is incredible. You start to build from Mark Hughes and then succeed with Roberto Mancini, Manuel, and many sporting directors and CEOs in this decade. It has been a successful era for this club. It is not just the people right now, that's for sure."
"It has been a successful era for this club. It is not just the people right now, that's for sure."
Pep Guardiola has used a false-nine for the majority of the season and Pep was asked about how special this is.
" I like players with the ability to keep the ball, it is one of the biggest principles I look for. The ball is the best way to defend and people have to keep the ball in difficult circumstances. in all my career I play with a lot of midfield players. I have the feeling that you can play better with this, but at the same time we need everyone. Gabriel was so important this season, I'm not going to talk about how important Kun has been and was in the past. unfortunately, he was injured most of the last year but now he is fit again. Raheem again - everyone is important but I have to admit that the players know I like it when they keep the ball and after we see what I produce with that."
Guardiola was then asked about the importance of this group being together for so long with training sessions limited this season.
"Absolutely. I said many times and all the managers at top clubs would agree to play every three days we don't have training. I don't feel like on the pitch we can develop because we don't have time. The only reason is the quality of the players that we have, which can change some ideas immediately because they are intelligent and good. There are no more secrets to success. You can win something important for one year but to win consistently the only secret is to have quality players."
Pep was then asked about how he gets instructions to his players.
"Before the game, you can say if you think it won't go well because it depends on the opponent and their set-up - many things can happen in the first 15-20 minutes - sometimes you can anticipate it but others at a corner or throw in you can communicate. We practise many things during a lot of times so they know immediately what they have to do."
All quotes as quoted by Manchester Evening News.