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Pep Guardiola warns Manchester City stars will be dropped if complacency creeps in during title charge

George Flood
·2-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola has told his Manchester City stars that they will not play if they naively believe that the Premier League title is already secured this season.

The dominant leaders are in the midst of a record-breaking run of form, having sealed their 20th consecutive victory across all competitions against Champions League-chasing West Ham at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

That latest triumph - coupled with nearest challengers Manchester United’s subsequent draw with Chelsea and Leicester’s defeat by Arsenal - left City’s lead at the top-flight summit at 12 points with only 12 matches left to play in 2020/21.

They can extend that to 15 on Tuesday evening as Wolves visit the Etihad for an 8pm GMT kick-off, with United not in action again until Wednesday night, when they take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

City’s players could be forgiven for believing that they are on an unstoppable march towards a first Premier League title since 2018-19, with further success possible given that the team are also through to yet another Carabao Cup final against Tottenham and will also compete in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup against Everton and hold a comfortable advantage over Borussia Monchengladbach in the last-16 of the Champions League after a 2-0 win in the ‘away’ leg held in Budapest.

However, Guardiola is desperate for complacency not to derail their formidable pursuit of silverware.

"We know each other quite well and they know how demanding I am. We've had three sunny days in Manchester but we do not relax (for) one second,” Guardiola said.

"Especially in the areas of the performance of the individuals, we can improve. Every player can improve. Every player feels, 'I can improve in some details'.

"When every individual player can improve, the team will improve. That's why always we can do better. That is the target.

"As much as we win and get results, we have to demand and be over the players and say we can do better.

"The moment when I feel that everyone is thinking the job is done, or how good it is, this guy is not going to play.

"I'm so intuitive to know exactly the guys who are not ready to continue what we have to do."

He added: “The champion is Liverpool, we are not. To do it we still have to win eight, nine or 10 games and that's a lot of games.

"There are incredible teams who have struggled for four or five games to win games. That can happen to us too.

"Last season it happened, at the beginning of this season it happened. We were unable to win three games in a row in the first two months."

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