Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City a bigger test than Bayern Munich or Barcelona
Last Updated: 19/03/17 4:12pm
Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City will be a bigger test of his managerial credentials than Bayern Munich or Barcelona.
City crashed out of the Champions League to Monaco on away goals at the last-16 stage, the first time in Guardiola's career he has failed to reach at least the semi-finals.
The Spaniard, who won a combined 21 trophies in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, conceded he was fortunate at previous clubs and believes it will take more time to get things right at the Etihad.
"It will take a longer time to put the team out I want," Guardiola told Sky Sports News HQ ahead of City's Super Sunday clash with Liverpool. "The other clubs, for many other reasons, were a little bit closer. Here it will take more time.
"That's what I like. It is the first time in my career as a manager when I feel now is the moment. The other ones I was so lucky as a manager.
"Now is the first time I want to help the team, not just in terms of titles - they are important - but the way we play so people say, 'Pep could do that again in a team in England like Manchester City.'"
When asked to compare his current position to previous stints at Barca and Bayern, Guardiola said City need to learn how "to play like a contender" at major tournaments, comparing their current problem to a similar one suffered by the England national team.
He added: "I love this club and I want to be here for a long, long time. Many, many times how City do it was sooner than Barcelona and Bayern Munich so I am really impressed.
"But in other terms we have something that means we need more time. We need more experience to become a stable team.
"It's like the England national team. I cannot deny the quality for all the English players playing for Gareth Southgate. They are top.
"But they must achieve that level, arrive there and win. In that moment the media, the people, the players themselves, they will believe they are able to play against Germany in a big competition - not in a friendly game - against Spain, Italy and win.
"You need to be there and to make that process. At Manchester City it's like this. You have to make that process and when you arrive in a semi-final, play like a contender, play like you are able to win.
"But you have to be there and win. Until we make the gap it will always be there."
Guardiola comes up against Jurgen Klopp when Liverpool visit on Super Sunday but the City head coach downplayed similarities between the two.
"He celebrates goals much better than me! He hugs his players better than me! He is a charismatic trainer. I admire him a lot," he continued.
"As a foreign trainer going to Germany, when he had a lot of success, how he took care of me. The first day when I lost the Super Cup, how gentle he was, and when he won and I won.
"He's a top trainer and of course the way we play is completely different. I am Catalan and he is German so the influence is completely different.
"It is always a pleasure to face the big trainers in the world and test myself against them."
Guardiola also dismissed reports he plans to overhaul the City squad at the end of the season.
Six of City's team - Yaya Toure, Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta, Willy Caballero, Bacary Sagna and Jesus Navas - are out of contract and there has been speculation over the future of several others.
"It is not possible," Guardiola added. "No team has enough money to push 13 players with contracts out and buy 13 players. It's not a solution. I believe the solution is to improve the team."