Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2019-20

'They gave me the prestige' - Pep says he'd be 'Fraudiola' without his players in wake of Norwich defeat

Pep Guardiola refused to criticise Manchester City side after their shock 3-2 defeat at Norwich City, saying they are the same players that stopped him being known as 'Fraudiola'.

City's performance was riddled with individual errors, reminiscent of the Catalan's first season in the Premier League when he struggled to impose his playing style.

It earned him the nickname 'Fraudiola' with some rival fans, who claimed his philosophy wouldn't work in England as it had in Spain and Germany.

Article continues below

But after two champion-winning seasons with the highest points totals ever achieved, Guardiola insists he isn't going to start doubting their quality.

"They gave me all the prestige I have in England, when the first season when it was Fraud Guardiola, Fraudiola," he said.

"This kind of game here in England - it’s not possible to play because you need to have tackles and you have to play like that - these players gave me the prestige that I have.

"And now all around the world people say how good a manager I am - it’s for them, not for me."

The defeat to newly-promoted Norwich was their first in the Premier League since Newcastle in January and leaves them five points behind leaders Liverpool.

But Guardiola put the blame on his tactical decisions and individual errors rather than a lack of spirit which was lacking in the defeat at St James' Park.

"With Newcastle it was completely different, we scored one goal and we forgot to play, [against Norwich] that didn’t happen," he added.

Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2019-20

"We were not precise up front or we made individual mistakes but I am responsible for that, but that is part of the game.

"Sometimes it happens and the players know it’s not necessary to tell them or watch some clips.

"Right now in the locker room they know they have to improve on that or it will not be possible to compete [for the title]."

Kevin De Bruyne was surprisingly left of the bench with Guardiola rotating him out of the side after starting the first four games while he played both of Belgium's European qualifiers during the international break.

The midfielder said the players will quickly put the defeat behind them with the Champions League starting on Wednesday with a trip to Shakhtar Donetsk.

"Nobody was shouting or angry with each other," he said. "You know, everybody makes mistakes.

"It gets magnified when you lose, you also make mistakes when you win.

"In the end, the people may be a little bit down you pick them up as a team and you go on a Wednesday and try to win the game because it's important to win the away game in Shakhtar.

"Last year, we were seven points behind [Liverpool]. Of course we want to we want to win every game but it is difficult. You have to give respect to the other team also and they did well."