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Manchester City

De Bruyne's message to Man City team-mates: If you don't like title pressure it's better to leave!

09:30 GMT 28/02/2019
Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City 2018-19
The reigning champions are a point behind current leaders Liverpool and the Belgian midfielder says his side must be ready to rise to the challenge

Kevin De Bruyne says any of his Manchester City team-mates struggling to cope with the pressure of the Premier League title race should leave the club.

Sitting a point behind Liverpool with 10 games left, Pep Guardiola’s team face a much more strenuous challenge for the top-flight crown than last season when they finished top with a 19-point advantage.

The reigning champions edged past West Ham on Wednesday thanks to a Sergio Aguero penalty to maintain the pressure on Jurgen Klopp's men, who beat Watford 5-0.

Guardiola is expecting further twists and turns in the battle for the top-flight crown, predicting both sides will drop points between now and the end of the campaign.

And De Bruyne has warned that City players are at the wrong club if they are not ready to step up to the challenge, urging them to focus on getting the best results as things keep heating up.

“We just need to look at ourselves,” the Belgian star said.

“The schedule is so tough. We are there in every competition and playing well and winning so we just need to keep going.”

“If you come here and don’t enjoy the pressure it’s better to leave!”

Despite the narrow scoreline against West Ham, De Bruyne was happy with his side's performance, even if fans and pundits expect them to win by a bigger margin.

“The performance was good. I know people expect us to win every game 5-0 but we don’t care,” De Bruyne added.

“The most important thing is creating chances. Some ricocheted away, with the others the last pass wasn’t there, it happens but we won and that was important.

“We played two and half days ago, a hard game at Wembley, and we won again tonight.

“In the first five minutes it could have been 3-0. We defended well but we just didn’t score.”

City are in action again on Saturday when they pay a visit to Bournemouth, while Liverpool take on Everton the following day.