Pep Guardiola says he will not change Manchester City’s attacking style ahead of their Nissan Super Sunday clash with Liverpool.
City were knocked out of the Champions League after a second leg 3-1 defeat to Monaco in the last 16 on Wednesday, where they were criticised again for sloppy defending which saw them go out on the away goals rule after drawing 6-6 on aggregate.
Before that game Guardiola said the best way to beat a free-flowing attacking team like Monaco was simply to score more goals and, despite some criticism over his approach, his thinking has not changed ahead of Liverpool’s visit to the Etihad, live on Sky Sports 1.
Asked if he will change his style this weekend, he said: “No. At the end we have to try. We have to defend better. When we create these kind of chances the opponents have to sit back.
“The problem in Monaco was that in the first half we did not create. We can’t play the way we did in the first 45 minutes, that’s why we are out. But over the two legs, I am very happy.
“Most of the goals we conceded were our mistake, it’s happened many times this season and hopefully it will happen less next season.”
Following that defeat, reports suggested Guardiola was planning a drastic overhaul of his squad but the Spaniard has suggested there will not be quite as many changes in the summer transfer window as some expect.
“I’m so happy with the squad, the speculation is normal when you’re out of the competition, it happens everywhere not just in the Premier League,” he said. “But I’ve said many times, I’m so happy working with these guys and how they try to do and how good performances they make.
“We are going to improve a lot with these guys. Next season a lot of these guys will be here. Lessons can be learned, that’s pretty sure. For a lot of my players it’s the first time they’ve played in this competition. We have to improve and we are going to try to be more stable in the next season. There is a big gap to improve.”
Man City vs Liverpool
March 19, 2017, 4:00pm
when his contract expires in the summer, but Guardiola says he was well aware of that.
“I knew that. I knew that months ago. All these issues we’re going to talk about at the end of the season,” he said.
Vincent Kompany will not be in the squad for Sunday’s game against Liverpool as he continues to work his way back to full fitness.
“I left him out because he’s been injured for a while and it would be a risk to put him in if he might get injured again,” Guardiola said. “That’s why I would like a little bit more time with him to be sure. But we’re so happy with his progress.”
Guardiola also believes the chase for the top four will go down to the final day in the Premier League and says Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is a “top coach”.
He said: “For the qualification for the Champions League will be tough until the last game of the Premier League. Except, of course, Chelsea, the other contenders will be there until the end of the season.
“It is good to see how everybody will react, me myself, the players after being out of the Champions League. Of course, this is an important game before the national team break and against one of the best teams in the Premier League.
“He’s a top coach [Klopp]. He spots little process. He attacks tight, they win the ball in attack. He likes to attack in four, five, six seconds all the time. They’re a top team, a top trainer. I have a lot of respect for him.”