David Villa backs Guardiola to end 'difficult' Man City spell

The former Spain international is confident a man he enjoyed considerable success with at Barcelona will master the Premier League in time

David Villa has backed Pep Guardiola to come through a “difficult period” at Manchester City, labelling him as a "great coach".

The former Barcelona boss enjoyed a positive start to his time in the Premier League, but has since seen his side go off the boil.

City are now sat fifth in the English top-flight table, 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

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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.

The ex-Spain international, who is now on the books at MLS side New York City, said: "He has a difficult period right now but I believe he will change the situation.

David Villa Barcelona Levante

"(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.”

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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.”