Bacary Sagna: Pep Guardiola will shout one minute, cuddle the next
By Michael Hincks
Last Updated: 02/01/17 8:03am
Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna admitted there can be two sides to Pep Guardiola during training sessions.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager arrived at City in the summer and immediately sought to imprint his style on the team.
A couple of injuries means Sagna's season has been stop-start under Guardiola, but the defender admitted he is enjoying life at City.
And with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp famed for his man-management with his players, Sagna was asked whether the City boss has a similar approach.
"He [Pep] is very close to us the players," Sagna told Sky Sports. "He is like one of us having been a player himself.
"Whenever he has something to say, he is a bit like a dad, because he will shout if he has to, but next minute he will be able to cuddle the same player.
"That's football and you have to be fair to people, and I think he's fair to everyone.
"We do a lot in training every single day, and whenever he has something to say, he says it. For the players, we just have to take the remarks and keep looking forward."
Guardiola stamped his authority in the summer when loaning out Joe Hart and bringing in Claudio Bravo with the purpose of having a sweeper-keeper in goal.
The City manager's longing to play out from the back also led to the purchase of John Stones, with Guardiola targeting players who are comfortable with the ball at their feet.
This style of football is new for Sagna, but the right-back says he is happy to learn and keep improving.
"I had to learn a bit more and have to take more risks. I have to put a lot more into my game and I think I've improved as a player and a man as well," Sagna added.
"I'm totally enjoying the football and I'm looking forward to learning more.
"Personally, yes. For the way I position my body. It's the way I try to anticipate things and communicate with players.
"It's little things, the way I position my body and how I anticipate things and communicate with players.
"I love it. I came to City to improve my game and keep working really hard. I needed a change and to challenge myself again and that's what I'm doing here.
"We have some amazing players here and you have to perform well because it's a challenge - and I'm really enjoying it."
Sagna is out of contract in the summer but said there has been no contact with the club, adding that he would not be willing to discuss his options until later in the season.
"I'm not thinking about it because it's a long way away. I need to enjoy my football first, and I want to give my best when I play," said Sagna.
"I want to give the confidence back to the club. I'm totally focused on the season.
"I'm not worried about it. No [they haven't spoken to me] but I wouldn't listen at the minute because I am totally focused on the season. I'm not sure they have my number anyway."