Man.City are in the right frame of mind, says boss Guardiola - GulfToday

Man.City are in the right frame of mind, says boss Guardiola

pep-guardiola

Pep Guardiola is adamant the Manchester City players have not been affected by a poor run of just one victory in five games in all competitions. File / Agence France-Presse

Pep Guardiola says he is satisfied with the state of mind of his Manchester City players even though they twice lost the lead to draw 2-2 with Newcastle and slip further behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Guardiola, whose defending champions are 11 points adrift of Jurgen Klopp’s team with more than a third of the season gone, is adamant the City players have not been affected by a poor run of just one victory in five games in all competitions.

“You have to see how the players run and how they fight and how they try to do it, the body language -- we never give up, so the team is always there, that’s my feeling,” he said.

“The game is what it is. In my opinion, it was good. We played well with the ball, we were solid, we conceded few counter-attacks, but football is how many goals you score and how you don’t concede.

“You accept that. Sometimes it happens.”

City have the Manchester derby on Saturday but Guardiola is focused on Tuesday’s away trip to Burnley beforehand.

“I’m not thinking about how many games we have to win,” he said. “It’s just try to win the next one.

“Last season when we were here, we were not talking about the Premier League, how many games you have to win.

“It’s not about that. It’s just now recover, prepare and try to win against Burnley, that is what you have to do, and after that the derby and make these steps.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s interim manager Freddie Ljungberg said Arsenal can still finish in the Premier League top four despite a 2-2 draw at Norwich City on Sunday that extended the club’s winless streak in the league to six games.

Former Gunners’ midfielder Ljungberg was in charge for the first time after Unai Emery’s sacking on Friday and watched skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang twice level for his side.

 “100 per cent,” the Swede said when asked if Arsenal could still mount a top-four challenge. “People drop points here and there and we drop points, it’s a crazy league at the moment. I hope and think Arsenal can finish in the top four.”

Ljungberg said ideally he would have “five or six weeks” to get his ideas across to the players but with a home match against Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday before a trip to West Ham United the following Monday he does not have that luxury.

Agence France-Presse

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Team Emirates’ Pogacar claims podium finish

A monumental final push in the UAE heat from Tadej Pogacar wasn’t enough to take the win in the third stage of the team’s home country as Adam Yates...


The 184km Emirates Stage finished with an exhausting 10.8km climb as Yates launched a surprisingly early attack with 6km to go. Pogacar didn’t react to Yates’ initial acceleration but then ripped clear of the chasing group with 5km remaining, finishing second in the stage, claiming the young rider’s jersey and ending the day second in the GC in a successful day for the team.

Pogacar said “It was extremely hot today, so for me on a climb like that in those temperatures it was a really good ride and I’m pleased.

“There is still three stages with another big mountain stage and the chance of crosswinds tomorrow so it’s not over yet. We have a strong team here so will try something for sure.”

Pogacar will get another chance to claim back the one minute GC deficit as the fifth stage of the Tour finishes at the same Jebel Hafeet summit.

Pogacar will wear the white young rider’s jersey in Wednesday’s stage as the race sees the riders return to the flats which will come as welcome relief for the sprinters.

The Emirates NBD Stage starts from Zabeel Park, crosses Mushrif Park and Motor City before finishing at Dubai City Walk where the popular walkway has been transformed as part of the racing route.

British climber Yates pulverised the opposition on the tough, final ascent of stage, winning by over a minute and taking the overall race lead.

His compatriot Chris Froome was dropped early in the race.

The four-time Tour de France winner again struggled on his comeback from injuries sustained last May.

The 27-year-old Yates is also making his 2020 debut and looks favourite to win in a competitive field after his stunning attack from 6km out at the end of a warm day with temperatures passing 30C.

“I attacked maybe a little too early, but in the end I felt good,” said Yates, whose win gives him a 1min 07sec lead in the overall.

“A minute is a lot, but we have to do this climb again, and maybe my legs won’t be so good then,” Yates said in reference to stage five.

“Also tomorrow I heard a rumour there are going to be crosswinds, so we’ll see.”

Yates was followed up the final 10.6km Jebell Hafeet climb at a 7 per cent gradient by a trio of challengers with Slovenian prodigy Pogacar finishing 1min 03sec adrift.

Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko was third at 1min 30sec accompanied by up-and-coming Frenchman David Gaudu.

Yates came fourth at the 2016 Tour de France and is targeting the Grand Boucle this summer where he will lead the Australian team ahead of his brother Simon.

Wednesday’s flat stage, the fourth of seven, is a 173km run to Dubai City Walk where a mass bunch sprint is expected.





Stage 3 Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 4h42’34”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:03

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:30

General Classification Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 12h30’02”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:07

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:35

20 hours ago