Pep Guardiola: Players need time to adapt - but results expected all the same
Willy Caballero is set to return in goal this weekend, Claudio Bravo is not yet available
Pep Guardiola will not start new goalkeeper Claudio Bravo this weekend. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA
Pep Guardiola expects his methods to take time to sink in at Manchester City — but in the meantime he just wants to win games.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has made a confident start as City’s new manager, winning his first four games.
Some of the Spaniard’s systems and tactics have been eye-catching, notably the fluid movement of defenders with full-backs pushing into central midfield and centre-backs moving wider.
Guardiola says the approach will be modified depending on opponents and he is not expecting his players to grasp everything immediately. For now he recognises the importance of merely winning games for confidence.
Reflecting on his first impressions of England, Guardiola said: “Congratulations to the Premier League because it is well organised with traditional stadiums. It’s very tough, so demanding.
“But I will try and implement our point of view, our way, to see our game here in England. I’m so excited to convince our players to play the way we like. Until now, of course results help.”
City host West Ham at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday looking to maintain their 100 per cent start in the Premier League.
Victory would give them three wins from three heading into the international break and set them up nicely for their next game, the derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford on September 10th.
Caballero had been preferred this season to England number one Joe Hart until sitting out the formality of City’s Champions League play-off second leg against Steaua Bucharest in midweek.
Hart featured in that game — which City won 1-0 to complete a 6-0 aggregate success and qualify for the group stage — in what was widely perceived as a farewell appearance amid speculation over his future.
It remains to be seen, however, whether Hart moves on before next week’s transfer deadline with potentially interested clubs such as Everton, Liverpool and Sevilla distancing themselves from the keeper.