Guardiola: We won't be duped into complacency by Sunderland's league position

04 March 2017 01:08

Pep Guardiola is ignoring the Premier League table ahead of Manchester City's trip to bottom side Sunderland on Sunday.

The Wearsiders are in serious relegation danger after winning just one of their last nine league games.

But City boss Guardiola, whose side are in the thick of a tight battle for top-four places, is warning against complacency.

He said: "Never, never, never when I see a team or analyse a team, do I see the table. Never. It doesn't matter the position they are.

"I know they will be more physical and pay more attention because of their situation. Sunderland's situation is not easy.

"The people can think we should win but Liverpool and Tottenham also should have won there and were not able to. Every game will be so difficult and so complicated, and it will be on Sunday."

Guardiola feels the game is already tough enough without giving opponents a helping hand with a complacent attitude. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager made a similar point in midweek after fielding a strong side and thrashing Sky Bet Championship side Huddersfield 5-1 in an FA Cup fifth-round replay.

He said: "I think that the five or six teams that are on top of the league, everybody expects that they are going to win the games but football shows us here, in Barcelona, Germany, in my experience, everything can happen.

"People say you beat Huddersfield 5-1, that's normal. But how many times did you see the teams in the cup beat the Premier League teams? Many, many, many, many times.

"So when you are a football player or manager in a big club like Manchester City, you have to be able to handle that. (You have) to accept you have to win every single game when (we know) that isn't going to happen.

"Of course, before the game with Sunderland I have complete awareness we might not win, so we have to prepare well because it will be tough."

Victory for City, for whom captain Vincent Kompany is available again after his latest injury, would cut the gap to leaders Chelsea to eight points but Guardiola is not thinking about a title charge.

He said: "I am talking about my team, thinking about the next game, step by step, focused on what we have to do in the next game. Thinking about far away would be a big mistake on our side - big mistake."

Besides, Guardiola does not seem to think Chelsea are likely to surrender their advantage.

He said: "Everybody would prefer to be in Chelsea's position because then you are playing knowing that losing one game you will be top, if you lose two games you will be top, if you lose three games you will be top.

"When that happens during the game, mentally you're more relaxed, more confident and of course the quality of their play makes the difference."

Source: PA


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