Guardiola: If players think the job is done, they will not play

Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2020-21
The Spaniard's side are flying across all competitions with 20 straight wins, but he remains vigilant about any potential complacency

No English team had ever won 20 straight matches before Manchester City's current run, but Pep Guardiola has warned there is still work left to be done.

The manager said his players are able to perform better than they have in recent weeks and "can't relax" even as they sit 12 points clear atop the domestic table ahead of Tuesday's game against Wolves.

Manchester City's objectives have broadened from merely claiming the Premier League to possibly winning the quadruple, an accomplishment that would require unwavering excellence for three more months.

What did Guardiola say?

“We cannot relax for one second,” Guardiola said via the club's website. “Always we can do better… that is the target.

“As much as we win and as much as we get results, we have to demand and be over the players and say we can do better.

“This is the moment and when I feel that every player is thinking the job is done or how good it is, these guys are not going to play.

“I am so intuitive. I know exactly when the guys are not ready to continue what we need to do. I said before the champions are Liverpool so to do it we still have eight, nine or 10 games and it’s a lot.

“They are an incredible team that struggled for four or five games to win games. It happened to us too.

“It happened last season and the beginning of this season and we were unable to win three games in the first two months (of this season) so still I want more and tomorrow [against Wolves] is a good example."

Article continues below

What's next for Manchester City

The Citizens have four more league matches before the second leg of their Champions League bout with Borussia Monchengladbach on March 16. Among those contests, only the one against Manchester United next Sunday poses an obvious threat. 

The bigger picture

The sooner Manchester City make their league title official, the sooner they can focus on hoisting the Champions League trophy, which has eluded them to this point.

Part of Guardiola's motivation, then, is the chance to rotate his squad by the time a potential European semi-final arrives in late-April.

Further reading