David Villa has backed Pep Guardiola to come through a “difficult period” at Manchester City, labelling him as a "great coach".
City are now sat fifth in the English top-flight table, 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
Guardiola appeared to throw in the title towel after suffering a humbling 4-0 defeat at Everton last time out, with a top-four finish now the priority for those at the Etihad.
More was expected of a man who won trophies aplenty at Barca and Bayern Munich, but Villa is convinced that he will come good if given the time to adjust to new surroundings.
"(It) is normal to have a difficult period with the team, but he is great and I think he has a methodology and he has a very good coaching staff to change the situation and the future (at City) will be better for sure.
"Soccer is difficult in every country and I am so lucky that I was able to play for Guardiola. He is a great coach, for everyone who likes soccer. But in soccer it is difficult to win and he has almost always won. His statistics are amazing.”
Villa still credits Guardiola with making him a better player during his time at Camp Nou, with the 35-year-old having tasted domestic and European success under the Catalan coach.
He added: "I was lucky to train under him. When I arrived at Barcelona I had always played as a number nine and when I played with him he changed my position and my mentality and after that I think I was a better player.
"I was able to understand more about different positions on the field and not only about scoring goals. He was great for my career.”