Guardiola admits mistakes
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted to making errors during his first few months of life in the Premier League.
City began the season in sensational fashion, winning their first ten matches in all competitions, leading some to believe that they would run away with the league this term.
Of their four Premier League defeats this season, three of them have come against the three sides above them in the table in Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham, and Guardiola admits that result at Spurs back in October dented his side’s confidence.
"We gave in the first part of the season some really, really good games and performances. But the moment we felt mistakes, especially in defence - an own-goal at White Hart Lane, our miss at Celtic in Glasgow - we lost a little of our confidence to play.
"And at times my ideas were not good, because I'm still getting to know the players, to know what is the best position, the best way to play, to adapt to them.
"Sometimes I have an idea: three at the back or play a player in a certain way, and sometimes it didn't work. And, when that happens, I never complain to the players. Because I see them training, how they suffer, and what they did in the last game against Burnley after 65, 70 minutes with 10 against 11, two days after Anfield.
"You have to look at yourself and see what you have to do to help them find each other and play to each other more fluently, not all the time with an aggressiveness. That is my job. I have to help them and I tell them that. And most of the times we were not good, it was my responsibility."
City showed the kind of form which became the norm throughout their opening ten matches under Guardiola on Friday evening, as they breezed past West Ham 4-0 in the third round of the FA Cup.
The Spaniard came to the Premier League with a glowing reputation of being an innovative, revolutionary coach, but insists that he is not out to change football in England - football in England has changed him.
"I'm not going to change England and I don't want to do that. Of course, it's going to change me," he said. "That's why I came here - to be changed. That is nice.
"When I do the same thing all my career, 15 or 20 years as a coach, it's boring. I would still be in Barcelona, my home and with these players I would be there.
"But every country has his own personality, his own way to play. And that is marvellous. That's why football is amazing. And, of course, I come here and I said a thousand million times, I am trying to adapt to English football in the way I believe you can do that."