Guardiola has “no doubts” his City players can edge Liverpool to another Premier League title given their mental toughness and experience of tension involved
Pep Guardiola is convinced his Manchester City players have the mental resolve to see off Liverpool and win a fourth title in five years.
City can extend their lead to four points over Liverpool by beating Watford on Saturday, with Jurgen Klopp’s side not in action until Saturday against Merseyside rivals Liverpool. Guardiola and his players know the Premier League title will be theirs if they win their remaining six games and the City boss said he has no doubts about their ability to get the job done.
“I don’t have any doubts,” said Guardiola. “I have the feeling they are calm during the days and in the moment of the game they have the right tension to do it, especially in the Premier League. The Champions League is a totally different competition, the emotions are more sensitive. It’s completely different.
“But in the Premier League, when you have just one option, which is to win the game, there are not many interpretations of the situation. I know the guys and myself. I try to find the right words and body language. The only thing is to have the players fit.
“You need to have 17 or 18 players available and this, right now, we don’t have. But sometimes, when that happens, the 13 or 14 players we have can make an extra step. When they give extra and when you give extra, it helps you to win games. It’s not a case of ‘oh it’s better to draw than lose’. Tomorrow, if we’re not able to win, it will be more difficult to be champions.”
City host relegation-threatened Watford on Saturday, with Guardiola aware of the problems Roy Hodgson’s teams can present, having lost at home to his Crystal Palace side in 2018.
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“We have to win the game,” said Guardiola. “There will be bad moments because breaking Roy’s teams is always difficult. But it’s just to win the game – there’s nothing more than that. It will be the same against Leeds, Wolves, Newcastle, West Ham and Aston Villa.”
Guardiola insisted he loves the pressure of closing out a title race, despite the tension involved: “Of course we enjoy it. We have a chance to try to win back-to-back Premier League titles. I love it, yes. Fighting for these things, every game is important.
“Arriving at the end of the season to try to fight like this is a joy, it’s a pleasure. The Premier League is just one more month, four weeks, so we’ll try to do well and also reach the Champions League final, which is one more week, no more than that.”