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Guardiola ‘not under’ extra pressure on back of trophy-less campaign

Date Posted,August 10, 2017

Pep Guardiola claims he does feel under extra pressure this season – despite ending his first year at Manchester City empty-handed.

Guardiola’s barren first campaign at City was the first time the decorated Spaniard, who enjoyed glittering spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, failed to win a trophy in a season since becoming a manager.

City have moved to address that failure by lavishing more than £200million on new signings this summer, with the Blues now installed as favourites to win the Premier League title.

But Guardiola, who admitted he would have been sacked by Barca and Bayern if he failed to win a trophy, said he is not feeling the heat ahead of a make-or-break season for him.

Last season’s blank was Guardiola’s first trophy-less campaign as a manager (Image: Getty)

“It’s the same pressure as I had last season,” said Guardiola. “We’re here to win games and titles.

“But it’s never a big problem. I’m honest in my job. I’ll do my best like I did last season. If the club decides ‘he’s not able’, we’re going to take a solution.

“I feel the same pressure as Barcelona when I arrived. People said we were favourites. We have to deal with that and handle that.”

City trailed leaders Chelsea by a point in early December last season, but lost 3-1 at home to Antonio Conte’s side and were 10 points adrift of the eventual champions by the end of the year.

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Guardiola’s side eventually finished 15 points adrift of Chelsea, and the 46-year-old knows he cannot afford a repeat of that failure, hence City’s huge investment this summer.

But Guardiola defended City’s mega spend, insisting it was a one-off this summer to bring the age of the squad down, and said such huge investment would not be the norm going forward.

City spent £130m on three full-backs, inclduding £54m on Kyle Walker, and Guardiola said: “Hopefully next season I’ll be here and we’re not going to spend how we spent this season.

“Six players were out of contract and in the last six or seven years, we didn’t buy full-backs. We didn’t have full-backs and you have to buy full-backs.

“We bought three and the market is so demanding for all the teams not just us. In the next three or four years we will buy one, two, maybe three players. But not what happened this summer.

“We needed to do that because it was one of the oldest teams in Europe, not just the Premier League, and we needed to change it.”

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