Pep Guardiola has seen Manchester City behaving like a “big team” during the previous six weeks as their pursuit of multiple titles continues.
Their long winning run came to an end against Southampton, but City have continued to win in the Premier League and FA Cup by displaying a tenacity that has not always been evident.
City allowed the opening goal on Saturday, like they had done at Arsenal on New Year’s Day and at St Mary’s more recently, as Fulham demonstrated why they have been so dangerous in the Championship.
And, like in previous games, Guardiola’s team dug in and took something from the game – in this case, a win that advanced them to the fifth round of the FA Cup.
City’s ability to come from behind isn’t put to the test on a regular basis because they have so much control over so many of their games, but their recent responses have been encouraging ahead of the business end of the season, when the pressure and the quality of opponents in the Champions League increases.
Pep Guardiola Happy With Players Response Against Southampton and Fulham
Guardiola places a great priority on a player’s ability to respond when things aren’t going their way. Based on the previous few weeks, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach has seen a “big team” battle back from setbacks in a way that he feels will be required again before the season ends.
“I don’t care if we’re up 3-0 or if we’re playing well,” he said. “We try to play, train, discuss, watch videos, and do anything we can to perform at our best 100 percent of the time, but it doesn’t always happen.”
“How you react in difficult situations is what big teams do.” This is what I’m looking for.
“The response in Southampton was extraordinary.” When I emphasise how fantastic it was, it’s because I appreciate my opponents, and Southampton and Fulham are both excellent sides, and I know how difficult it is to play against them.
“Sometimes, winning 4 or 5 or 6-0 is more important to me.” It’s how we behave under difficult situations over the course of 90 minutes. This is a 90-minute lecture because you don’t receive what you deserve when you face difficulties. It isn’t a problem. It’s the same in the following game.
“One day, when you face hardship, you will receive what you deserve, but I want to triumph because when I deserve to, I will.” Of course, I want to win all the time, but I also want to win when we earn it, and to do so, you have to keep becoming better and being there in the tough times.
“I have no complaints about the previous two games because Fulham can generate amazing opportunities and we are capable of doing what we have done.” “I am overjoyed.”