Pep Guardiola: Manchester City need silver lining

Pep Guardiola accepts his first season at Manchester City will be considered a failure if he does not win a trophy.

Pep Guardiola: Manchester City need silver lining

Guardiola had huge expectations placed on him when he arrived at City last summer because of his past successes with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

His hopes of winning the Premier League this year seem remote with City trailing leaders Chelsea by 10 points with 11 games remaining.

But City are still alive in the FA Cup and Champions League and, even though Guardiola is prioritising team improvement, he realises the importance of silverware as a yardstick.

The Spaniard said: “If I have no silverware, I will not be here for a long time. No silverware — it will not be a good season. I knew that in August. Being a manager depends on results.

“I know how my standard is in the past about the titles and I know what is on my shoulders and I have to handle that.

“But I always believe deep in my heart that results depend on the way you play. That’s why I need to be convinced that we’re playing better every day.

“I would like to see my team playing better at the end of the season than at the beginning. It is good that the players in the last month have shown how close they are and what good team spirit they have.

“But I know we will be judged on the titles we have won. My period in Munich was judged like a disaster because we were not able to win the Champions League. I won three leagues in a row, we won two cups from three, we arrived every time in the semi-finals and finals, (but) it was (judged) a disaster.

“I have to handle that but what I can say is try to play better, better, better than the previous month. That’s what I want to see for the next year – be better.”

Guardiola says he would relish the chance to return to Wembley as Manchester City manager after enjoying success there as a player and a coach with Barcelona.

City are 90 minutes away from booking a trip to the stadium as they take on Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarter-finals this weekend.

Guardiola said: “It’s so beautiful and that’s why I’d like to be there. As a football player I won our first Champions League in Wembley, the old Wembley, and as a manager I won my second Champions League there, so of course Wembley is special for me, definitely.

“When I was a kid seeing English football playing in Wembley in all competitions, important games, the tradition there with the two managers going out, I loved that.

“It’s a traditional stadium and of course we’ll be pleased, and not just to come back and remember what we have done. Playing the semi-finals there will be nice and after, if we are able, to play the final.”

Guardiola insists Joe Hart’s City future will be determined in the summer. The England goalkeeper has said he “is pretty much surplus to requirements” at Etihad Stadium and does not expect to be back at the club next season.

The 29-year-old is currently on loan at Serie A club Torino having lost his place at City following the signing of Claudio Bravo earlier in the campaign. Bravo’s subsequent struggles — Willy Caballero has been preferred to the Chilean for seven of City’s last nine games — have raised questions about the wisdom of this arrangement.

Guardiola said: “Joe is a player for Manchester City and we are going to decide at the end of the season.”

Aitor Karanka insists Middlesbrough are in an “amazing” position as they attempt to book a trip to Wembley and stave off relegation from the Premier League.

Karanka said: “When someone tells me we are in an awful situation, for me, to be in the Premier League, to be in the quarter-finals, is an amazing situation.”

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