The manager took responsibility for his side’s elimination from the Champions League but says it is not his fault the media expects too much of him
Pep Guardiola has suggested the media were wrong to believe that he could transform Manchester City into a side contesting for the treble, insisting he made no promises upon taking the job.
City, who were dumped out of the Champions League by Monaco in midweek, face Liverpool in a crunch match at the top of the Premier League on Sunday, as both sides vie for second place behind runaway leaders Chelsea.
Despite their Champions League exit, Guardiola insisted that any difficulties City have faced have only reaffirmed his belief in his playing style, hinting that too much is expected of his side.
“I am the manager, I am responsible absolutely for everything that happened [in Monaco],” Guardiola said.
“Maybe you [journalists] are wrong – Pep is sitting here, now they are going to win the treble. Easy.
“You are wrong. I never came here and said we are going to win one title, I never said I am going to win the treble, I never said I am going to win the double – never said it.
“But I never said it on my first day in Barcelona. I promised a lot of work. Few guys can beat me on that. I work a lot. I am so proud about that.
“But I never promise titles, never in my life. Just work. All I can assure is the team are going to play the way I want. The only power I have is this one.
“I am pretty convinced that the second half showed me in the game in Monaco that when you attack more and you play more aggressive you concede few.
“When you are more [passive] you concede more. I learned that again. The influence of that game showed me again I am more convinced about what I want to do.
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“If you think we are a little bit more sad and disappointed, I promise you we are. The players, they are sad a lot, like all the people here.
“We have to get our heads up. We have a lot of things to recover as much as possible and there are a lot of things to play for. One is to be in the Champions League next season and the other is the semi-finals of the FA Cup.”
City, who will face Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-finals, will move four points clear of Liverpool should they overcome Jurgen Klopp’s side.