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Manchester City's manager, Guardiola rejects Neville's Man City criticism

Manchester City's manager, Pep Guardiola has declared that he will never turn his Manchester City team into an over-physical side in order to win the Premier League title

This follows after former Manchester United captain Gary Neville suggested last week that Guardiola's style lacks the power and strength required to succeed in England, being instead over-reliant on creative players.

Chelsea won the title with a more robust flair coached by Antonio Conte, but Guardiola is insisting on sticking to his principles of fast, possession-based football.

Guardiola, though, disagrees, saying on Friday: "Gary Neville played in England. He didn't play in another country so he can't compare. He was a manager in another country (at Valencia), but not as a player.

"I think it's more physical in England because of the way the referees conduct the games. You have to be more physical, but I would not say in Germany the people are not physical or another country.

"I can't imagine going to San Sebastian or Bilbao or Atletico Madrid and saying they are not physical."

Guardiola won 14 trophies in four seasons as Barcelona manager and seven in three years at Bayern Munich, but will finish his first campaign in England empty-handed.

However, he is adamant, however, that he can make his philosophy work in the Premier League.

"The only power I have is that the teams will play the way I want to play. I'm sorry," he said.

"From the moment I arrived here, the team is going to play the way I want to play. I am not going to dismiss it.

"I like high pressing. I want to play quickly as much as possible, but at the end it depends on the quality of the players.

"We're going to try to build the philosophy by adapting the players we have and buying the players we need.

"Any other way, I don't feel it. How can I convince my players to play another way if I don't feel it? I am not able to do that. In 11 months, with three games every week, you have to play the way you believe."

Guardiola, whose side host Leicester City on Saturday, added: "The players are so intelligent.

"They know if you are lying, if you are not honest with them. The only way is how I feel. I like to see my teams play the way I want to play.

"When I am sitting there, I am a spectator, I am a fan. I am not just a manager, I am a fan. I want to enjoy seeing my team playing the way I want them to play.

"The Crystal Palace manager, the Burnley manager, all the managers play the way they want to play. Perfect. I respect that.

"But also I deserve to enjoy my job, to have fun in my job and the only way is playing the way I want to play."

 

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