Pep Guardiola said he must “change the dynamic” in his team after Manchester City suffered their third defeat in four league matches, taking them from first to third in the English Premiership football table.
City’s 2-1 defeat at Leicester on Wednesday left Guardiola’s side seven points behind Liverpool and one below Tottenham. City had been 1-0 up but were eventually undone by Ricardo Pereira’s long-range strike and their misery was sealed when Fabian Delph was sent off for an ugly challenge on the match-winner.
“If you want to be real contenders you need to win again (soon),” said Guardiola.
“As soon as possible we have to try to win again for our mood, our confidence and our desire. You have to be confident to play and to come back. I have to reflect and think about what the team needs and how to help them. That is what I am concerned about right now: what I have to do to help them come back, to (get them) playing the way they want to play, to move something and try to win again.
“Good results make miracles in the mind. Now there will be doubts but what we have to do is try to change the dynamic to win games and make good performances. But we are able to do that. I never doubt them.”
Guardiola said he was happy with City’s first half of the campaign and that Liverpool and Spurs have climbed above them by being extraordinarily good.
“We have an incredible amount of points,” he said. “In a normal situation we are fighting to be champions. But the reality is there are another two teams and they are better. But we are not thinking about if we are able to overtake Liverpool or whatever, that is not the issue. What I said last season when we had a big distance (at the top) was not to think about results, think about the games.”
Jürgen Klopp struck a similar note, noting his team’s six-point lead over Spurs could be whittled down quickly.
“We play Arsenal and City next so it is good that we have six points more than other teams,” said the Liverpool manager after his side’s 4-0 win over Newcastle.
“That is pretty much what we wanted to do from the start — create a basis for the rest of the season. We want to create our own history and it is the first time a Liverpool team has gone this long unbeaten in the Premier League and we have conceded only seven goals. They are good statistics. But we play Arsenal, then we play City and we play Tottenham and all the other teams again. We have to be really in the mood and have tunnel vision and see where it will leave us.”
Mauricio Pochettino followed the same script after Tottenham’s 5-0 win over Bournemouth meant they leapfrogged City into second. “We have faith, we have clear ideas,” he said.
“Of course the challenge is to keep that level and try to increase because now it will be tougher. When you are there (in second) you start to show your face, everyone wants to kill you.
Source: The Herald