Pep Guardiola determined to turn Manchester City into 'a winning club'

11 March 2017 05:53

Pep Guardiola has ordered his Manchester City players to have "no regrets" as they attempt to bring silverware to the Etihad Stadium.

City eased into the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 sixth-round victory at Middlesbrough to hand Guardiola a trip to Wembley, where he has won the Champions League as both a player and a coach.

But as they continue their bid for glory on three fronts - they are in Champions League action in Monaco on Wednesday evening - their manager has insisted they cannot consider themselves a top club until they realise defeat is simply not an option.

Guardiola said: "To become a winning club when a club has not been in the past, just a generation - Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, David Silva, helped the club to step forward and that's why I just can say thank you to them that I am part of that club now.

"That is not a club with a long history of winning things. I learned at the academy in Barcelona when I was 12 that it's not acceptable to lose.

"To understand that, you don't distinguish between friendly and competitive games. Every game you play, you have to play well, try to win and show the opponent you are there to win.

"It's the only way you can improve as a club with a good mentality, and that is what I am going to try in my period here to give the club. It doesn't matter the competition, no complaints, no regrets. Go there and try to win the game."

David Silva fired City into a third-minute lead at the Riverside Stadium, but victory was not sealed until Sergio Aguero added a second with 67 minutes gone.

Guardiola said: "I have good memories of being at Wembley, at the old and the new one. Yes, of course, and to live that experience.

"Normally that just happens in the final, but here it is in the semi-final too and of course we are so happy to be there, so happy."

Boro head coach Aitor Karanka was able to take positives from a spirited display as his side responded to the early setback despite losing striker Rudy Gestede and defender Bernardo to injury.

However, on a day when Stewart Downing and Patrick Bamford did not even make the 18 and Alvaro Negredo and Gaston Ramirez started on the bench, he had a warning for his players, who find themselves in the thick of the battle for top-flight survival.

Karanka said: "Look, always I have needed it but now in the difficult moments, I need 18 fighters in my team.

"Where the players show me that they are ready to play and they are fighting and they are going to fight for the club is on the training ground every day. I am with them every day and on Friday, I will always choose at least 18 fighters.

"I prefer to take the positives things because we recovered our consistency, our confidence. The way that we approached the game today, conceding the goal at the beginning of the game, the reaction was good.

"We can't forget that we were playing against one of the best teams in the league and the Champions League, and they rested players to play against us, so they were considering us a strong team."

Source: PA