Guardiola insists Man City finishing second more important than winning FA Cup

goal.com, 11 July 2020, 03:12
Guardiola insists Man City finishing second more important than winning FA Cup
The Spaniard is more interested in seeing his side secure a runners-up spot rather than adding to their haul of English trophies

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City 's main domestic target is to finish second in the league, which he sees as more important than winning the FA Cup or Carabao Cup.

City have emerged as English football's dominant force since Guardiola's arrival at the Etihad Stadium in 2016.

The Blues have won eight trophies in total under the Spanish tactician, including two Premier League titles, while setting new standards in terms of consistency and performances levels.

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Liverpool also managed to take their game up a notch in 2019-20 after narrowly missing out on last season's title winning all but three of their first 31 fixtures.

Jurgen Klopp's men were named champions following City's 2-1 loss at Chelsea on June 25, and they are now on course to break the record for the number of points gained in a single campaign.

However, City have already bagged a third successive League Cup, and they still have the semi-finals of the FA Cup and a Champions League last-16 tie against Real Madrid to look forward to.

Despite the possibility of a second successive treble, Guardiola insists a runners-up spot in the Premier League holds more value than another piece of domestic silverware.

The City manager told a press conference on Friday: "This organisation wants to win titles, so of course this is not the perfect satisfaction but it's recognition that our opposition was incredible in this competition and we were not on that level.

"We cannot deny that the second [place] target is better than the FA Cup winner, the Carabao Cup winners, or the others and qualification for the Champions League, which all the other clubs are fighting for.

"We were not the best, another team was, but we were better than the other 18 teams.

"This is the target to finish this season."

Ahead of a meeting with Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, Guardiola spoke out in favour of making the new rules regarding extra substitutions permanent to help reduce the risk of injuries and fatigue.

"It has helped all the teams because all the clubs have had a lack of preparation, just two or three weeks, which is not much to play every two or three days," he said.

"In the last 20, 30 minutes [of matches], when you have a lack of preparation, you suffer and that (extra subs) helps to maintain players' fitness.

"Maybe for next year if it happens, it will be good. You can travel with not just 18 players [including] on the bench, but 20, as happened this season.

"It would be good for the health and mood of the team. Everybody feels involved and part of the team, and you can make more rotations, so it will be good."

Guardiola added on his future in Manchester: "I like to be here. I enjoy every single day, even in this season where we had to struggle hard to get results in the Premier League.

"I feel as though the players want to fight and still have the desire to win in this last part of the season and we will see for next season."

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