Guardiola welcomes Aston Villa ‘shake’ as Man City stroked ‘like a cat’ for too long

News Desk
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City, November 2023
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola speaks at a press conference

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes the club’s recent slump has delivered a much-needed reality check.

Guardiola says he and his treble-winning players have enjoyed being stroked “like a cat” for too long after their recent successes and it was time they were given a shake.

City were not only beaten but outplayed at Aston Villa on Wednesday – a result which extended their winless run in the Premier League to four games and saw them slip to fourth in the table.

“As a manager I sometimes need that, I need that challenge,” said Guardiola at a press conference to preview Sunday’s game at Luton.

“I think for everyone it is good. I think it’s necessary to live that.

“For a long time, we’ve lived like a cat (strokes head) and (known) how good we are.

“We need it to say: ‘Guys this business – it’s terrible’. You are unbeatable and then, oh my God, you cannot win one game – from nothing.

“Maybe for myself first, I need that challenge to prove myself, that I’m a good manager, to help the players overcome that situation.

“For the players it’s a good challenge to say: ‘Aston Villa were miles better than all of us, so imagine the other ones’.

“The club, all the organisation, (know) we can be out of the Champions League next season, so we have to work hard. As soon as we realise (it) we come out of here quicker.

“The club needed it. One month ago I thought the club needed a shake, to be shaken. The bad results can help you to live that.”

Guardiola, however, was quick to dismiss suggestions of complacency within his squad, insisting standards remain high.

He said: “It’s not about complacency. Complacency is arriving late to training, not training good, not doing a good job, it not mattering what happens.

“I’m talking just about bad results. Bad results help you to understand. When you lose games, it is necessary. It’s necessary to live that.

“After, (you) make a step forward. It’s the only way.”

City will have influential midfielder Rodri back at Kenilworth Road after he completed his latest ban. The Spaniard has now missed four games through suspension this season and Guardiola’s side have lost them all.

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