'Ole has started seeing the team he wanted', says Guardiola
Pep Guardiola says Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has started to "see his team what he wanted".
SHOWS: MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UK (JANUARY 6, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER ASKING MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER PEP GUARDIOLA: "Pep, Solskjaer said this morning he admires your team and the standards you've set in your time at
Class="kln">Manchester City Class="kln">Arsenal
Class="kln">Manchester City, what do you admire about what Ole's doing and his Manchester United side?" GUARDIOLA: "I think he's started to see his team what he wanted, that is my feeling when I see his teams. Even the last game against
Class="kln">Arsenalthat they lost, we see clear what they want, what he wants.
"It's not easy to handle a team, a big, big club, always demanding to be champion in all competitions.
But I think every manager needs time, and I think, I have the feeling, that United start to play the way he wants, or he wants as his old manager Sir Alex Ferguson, is my feeling." REPORTER: "I know this is a different game because it's a semi-final, but what do you feel you learnt from that defeat against United a few weeks ago?" GUARDIOLA: "Well, how fast they are in the counter-attack.
How solid, how aggressive.
I think we conceded a few counter-attacks in the beginning, and in just two or three seconds, they are in the box, they have incredible pace and talent.
But in general, the game was good.
We created chances, and unfortunately, we couldn't win." REPORTER: "Pep, how much of a dilemma do you have in terms of your team selection, because obviously you've made changes for cup in the past, maybe Bravo playing, but it's Manchester United and a semi-final?" GUARDIOLA: "No, I have an idea still, I didn't think so, of course the cup, especially with the incredible amount of games some players have in the legs, they should be rested for the previous games, so now I have an idea of the way we want to play, but still I don't have 100% sure the guys that are going to play tomorrow." 2.
WHITE FLASH 3.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) REPORTER ASKING MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER PEP GUARDIOLA: "You're obviously here to win trophies, given the position in the Premier League, does this cup, the opportunity to be three games from winning it, become even more important?" GUARDIOLA: "No.
It was important the first season and the next two, and this one, nothing changed for the fact for this theory, like we won the Premier League in the previous season, they wouldn't have been important - doesn't matter, it was not the case, it's a game we need to play and we're going to do a good game." STORY: Manchester City's Pep Guardiola believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stamped his authority at Manchester United with a fresh tactical approach but said the Norwegian will need more time to build a squad capable of winning titles.
United have struggled for consistency in Solskjaer's first full season as manager and have won just two Premier League games since beating City last month.
The defeat to Arsenal on New Year's Day left United five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, but Guardiola has seen signs of United players finally translating Solskjaer's gameplans onto the pitch.
"Ole has started seeing the team he wanted - that's my feeling," Guardiola told a news conference on Monday (January 6) ahead of City's League Cup semi-final first-leg against United on Tuesday (January 7).
"Even the last (league) game against Arsenal, that they lost, we saw what they want.
"It's not easy to handle a team at a big, big club... always demanding to win competitions and every manager needs time.
I have the feeling United started to play the way he wants." Guardiola will look to ensure his team is not vulnerable to counter-attacks as they were when United duo Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial carved out an early lead at the Etihad Stadium last month.
"I think we conceded few counter-attacks in the beginning and in just two-three seconds they're in the box.
They have incredible pace and talent to do that," the Spanish coach said.
"In general the game was good, we created chances." City confirmed defender Nicolas Otamendi, who missed the last two games against Port Vale and Everton, has returned to training and will be available for the match at Old Trafford.
"I have an idea of the way I want to play but I am not 100% sure of the guys who play tomorrow," Guardiola added.
"Especially with the incredible amount of games some players have in the legs, they should be rested for the previous games." (Production: Mike Brock)