Pep Guardiola: Manchester City manager admits whole team need to help defence
Guardiola revealed does not know if City will be able to win the Champions League this season, but insists they will keep trying
Last Updated: 21/10/19 2:59pm
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he needs all 11 players to contribute for a successful defence.
City have conceded nine goals in the Premier League this season yet kept a clean sheet against Crystal Palace on Saturday, despite fielding two central midfielders at the heart of their defence.
- Pep: City not ready to win Champions League
- Ref Watch: VAR right not to overrule decision
- No defenders, no matter for Man City
Guardiola revealed centre backs John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi are fit to face Atalanta on Wednesday amid injury concerns, but admits the team as a whole is responsible for the defensive performance.
The Spaniard said: "We are good enough, we are strong enough, I think we believe in that. When you play these kind of games and believe in that 'OK, we are going to defend well because we are good'.
"Last game [against Palace] shows when you play good you defend less. When you don't play good you concede a lot. It's not about having two players who are going to defend for the 11 players.
"What happens is when we make an incredible fluid game from the build-up, we concede few. When our build-up is wrong, you make a mistake in the first pass.
"Against Wolves our build-up was not in our mind, we didn't train it. It was my mistake. That happened and we concede a lot - that's why it's related.
"It's not about we defend well and after it's enough - no. When you play good in some departments, pressing high is good and intense, we concede really few."
Guardiola guided Barcelona to Champions League success in 2009 and 2011, yet despite being considered as one of the best managers in the world, he has an eight-year drought in Europe's elite competition.
The 48-year-old, who reached three semi-finals with Bayern Munich, has not made it past the quarter-finals in three attempts with City and admits there is no guarantee they will make it further this season.
Asked whether he thinks City can win the Champions League ahead of their third Group C fixture against Atalanta, Guardiola replied: "I don't know.
"I answer this question how many times about that for the first year. I answered in the first press conference here when I arrived four years ago about this question.
"I answer many, many times and I have the same opinion. We are going to try but I don't know who is going to win. If we win I'll be happy - if we do not win we will try again next season.
"I never play one game as a football player or manager thinking I cannot win. At the same time, I play every game as a football manager or football player thinking I can lose.
"I can't anticipate what is going to happen in a football game but honestly I don't know. I would like to say we are going to win but I don't know honestly. We are going to try. We try from day one until the last day but honestly I don't know."