Soccer

Pep Guardiola knows Man City fans will be behind team if ‘bad moments’ arrive

Pep Guardiola’s side face Tottenham next (Martin Rickett/PA)
Pep Guardiola’s side face Tottenham next (Martin Rickett/PA) Pep Guardiola’s side face Tottenham next (Martin Rickett/PA)

Pep Guardiola has no doubt Manchester City’s fans will be there to lift the team if they ever hit a poor run.

City supporters have seen little but success during Guardiola’s reign as manager, winning five Premier League titles and a glorious treble last season.

Yet Guardiola recognises that run may one day come to an end and it is then the City manager hopes the fans, so used to being entertained, will be able to inspire them.

The Spaniard said: “We want the fans to enjoy and have fun, have one hour and 30 minutes in good moments. That depends on us. When we play good, always they are there.

Manchester City fans
Manchester City fans Pep Guardiola has hailed City’s fans (John Walton/PA)

“It’s just sometimes the situation is not going well. In that moment it’s not because the players don’t want it – because they’ve proved over how many years their consistency – but it is in that moment we need them.

“Of course we won a lot and, in the future, maybe you have to understand in the mind that this is an exception. It’s not normal to win the treble, it’s not normal to win five Premier Leagues in six years.

“You have to understand that – OK, continue to enjoy – but if the bad moments are coming this season and the next one and the next one, you have to be there.

“And I’m pretty sure they’ll be there because it’s a club that has come from Maine Road and from being in mid-table, not fighting for the titles. They were there all the time.

“I was not here but the people talk to me. So if it’s coming back down a little, ‘Come on, let’s go.’ Do what you have to do to come back there on top of the league and don’t be down for a long time.”

Guardiola, however, is confident the current crop of players would not allow a slump to occur.

He said: “The players are the most important thing, and I know they know it, otherwise what we have done cannot be possible.

“The players always are there, even losing 0-2, still we run, still we fight.”

Guardiola’s own powers of motivation are well known, although he has downplayed the significance of his sharp comments after last season’s home clash against Tottenham as he prepares to host the same opponents on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola Guardiola has downplayed the impact of his words (Martin Rickett/PA)

City suffered a dip in form in the early part of 2023 and needed to come from 2-0 down against Spurs to avoid a third successive loss.

Afterwards, Guardiola labelled his side the “Happy Flowers” team, essentially accusing them of lacking concentration.

Observers later cited it as a turning point in their treble-winning campaign.

But Guardiola said: “That was my feeling in that moment. I had to say something. Because we won we can believe it (worked) but it is not the truth. Because we won (people say), ‘How brilliant was Pep?’ but we could do it again and it might not work.”