Pep Guardiola keeping calm but admits Manchester City must win at Leicester after Liverpool take title
Spaniard stresses the importance of getting back to winning ways after shock loss last time out
Pep Guardiola admits it’s vital Manchester City get back to winning ways against Leicester City on Boxing Day.
The Premier League champions conceded the title initiative to Liverpool as they unexpectedly slipped to a 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The result left City trailing the Merseysiders by four points at the top of the Premier League.
They return to action at Leicester on Boxing Day and, with a game against Liverpool coming up on January 3 following a trip to Southampton, Guardiola feels three points are vital.
The City manager said: “We’re going to Leicester needing to win. Last season we dropped points and immediately won again. That’s what we have to do. We have two games away before new year and we have to do that.
“When we win I insist they are calm and now it is the same. We lose a game, it happens. Focus on the next one.”
The Palace defeat was City’s second in the space of three Premier League games after losing at Chelsea earlier in the month.
Guardiola wants his team to respond to the setback in the same emphatic fashion they did to losing at Liverpool last January, when an eight-game unbeaten run featuring seven wins all but secured the title.
“There aren’t many teams in the world that are happy when they don’t win the games but we have to see how our character is,” the Spaniard said.
“We have shown many times that we react well and we’re going to try again. It’s always tough to win at Leicester, then Southampton. We’ll see what happens.”
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Playmaker David Silva is likely to remain on the sidelines but City will hope midfielder Fernandinho will recover from a thigh injury in time to feature at the King Power Stadium.
Left-back Benjamin Mendy (knee) and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (Achilles) are long-term absentees.
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