MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Aug 31 – Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has refused to gloat over his old rival Jose Mourinho’s troubled start to the season at Manchester United.
Guardiola was asked about the pressure which is mounting on his United counterpart following consecutive Premier League losses to Brighton and Tottenham.
The pair have had a strained relationship since their days as rival managers of Barcelona and Real Madrid in La Liga.
But, despite United’s problems and the growing storm around Mourinho, Guardiola insisted City’s arch rivals remain a force to be reckoned with.
“We’re in August. There are a lot of points to play for and the real season starts after the international break,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday.
“We dropped two, or won one, point at Wolves. The secret last season was when we did that we won the next game.”
Champions City finished 19 points ahead of second placed United last season and have made an unbeaten start to the new campaign, while Mourinho’s team have stumbled from one crisis to another.
Asked about the personal pressure on Mourinho, who has faced speculation about his relationship with United midfielder Paul Pogba and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, he added: “Unfortunately it’s our job. Our job depends on results.
“When we win we are good, when we don’t we are not good. When you get to this level, they are top, top managers.”
– Gomes potential –
Meanwhile, Guardiola wants another option in his City midfield, but refused to confirm if that would mean making a signing in the January transfer window.
City missed out on landing Jorginho from Napoli during the summer when the Italian opted to join Chelsea instead.
Guardiola can call on former Paris Saint-Germain teenager Claudio Gomes, who is on the fringes of the first-team squad after arriving in the summer from the French club.
When asked about the 18-year-old ahead of the weekend’s Premier League clash with Newcastle, the Catalan admitted he has been impressed by the youngster, but also did not rule out adding a new face.
“Claudio Gomes is a young player. He was in pre-season with us and we were delighted with him, his personality,” Guardiola said.
“The January market is a long time away. We’re looking at options for the future. We decided to pick Claudio up because of his potential.”
City will face a defensively-minded Newcastle team at the Etihad Stadium, but Guardiola insists dealing with teams who set out to thwart them with a negative approach is not a concern.
“That is not a problem. They believe in their styles. It’s in our hands to solve that. That is the trick,” he said.
“We spend more time on ourselves and what we need to do. We can only imagine what our opponents maybe will do but we don’t know 100 per cent.
“Huddersfield we expected five at the back and they were four.
“We analyse our games, we spend our times analysing training and games on ourselves to improve. The players have to adapt, of course.
“You have to know what they do and inform the players what they are going to do. But it’s more productive to concentrate ourselves, what we can do.
“We talk about ourselves, normally about 80 per cent of it.”