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Published: 14:55 | 8/7/16

Guardiola relishing Premier League test

Pep wants to take a step forward

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is looking forward to renewing rivalry with Jose Mourinho because he believes it will force him to be a better coach.

Guardiola and Mourinho have a long-standing rivalry from their time in charge of Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively and they will lock horns again in the Premier League.

Mourinho refused to be drawn into a war of words with Guardiola when he faced the media for the first time since his appointment as Manchester United and the Spaniard took the same approach at his first press conference.

Although playing Mourinho will force him to be a better coach, Guardiola was keen to stress that every manager in the Premier League will pose a different challenge.

“I think Jose said pretty well that it is not about him or me, so we are not focusing on each other," Guardiola said. “From what I saw from a distance is that it is so difficult to win games, I will have to prove myself.

"He [Mourinho] wants to win, I want to win. We know each other pretty well from before at Barcelona. I think it's great that top managers are here - big managers take me as a manager to a different level.

"Competing with them takes me to another level, they push you to win things like the Champions League. And then you find out if you’re big enough of capable enough of running teams like Barca, Madrid, Bayern, like Manchester City, but I’ve only just started here."

Guardiola enjoyed a hugely-successful spell in charge of Barcelona before moving to Bayern Munich and the Spaniard is hoping he can enjoy similar success at the Etihad Stadium, believing his style of football can work in the Premier League.

"That's why I'm here - to prove I'm able to do that," he went on.

"I was at the Barcelona where I had the best player ever, and I knew the players from the academy. Then at Bayern, who had a lot of experience as well for many, many things. Now this is another test for me.

"It would have been comfortable to stay where we were. But I feel it's the right time to come here and prove myself. I have to convince the players to play the way I - we - want. At the end we will see."

Manchester City's first Premier League game will be against Sunderland and Guardiola is expecting a tough test against Sam Allardyce's men.

"Against 'Big Sam' I will play my first game here," he said. "But I'm pretty sure it will be completely different.

"That's why I'm here, and of course I have to adapt my ideas to the quality of the players. And we're [also] looking for players to adapt to what I want because it's difficult for me to convince players of something I don't believe.

"So in this mix we have to find each other - as soon as possible - but there are two or three things that are not going to change for the rest of my life as a coach.

"At the end what we want is so, so simple: when the opponent has the ball try to win it back; when we have it try to create as many chances as possible."


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