‘I prefer me now I’m older’: Guardiola on dealing with Manchester City pressure | Manchester City
Pep Guardiola has barely had a season in his managerial career when he was not fighting for trophies but the Manchester City manager says he is able to cope better with the pressure that comes with battling for silverware than when he was younger.
The 52-year-old will win the 11th league title as a manager if City secure maximum points from their final four matches, starting with a trip to Everton on Sunday. The fixture at Goodison Park lands in between the two legs of City’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.
Should Madrid be overcome, City would be one step closer to winning the treble, with Manchester United to come in the FA Cup final next month, the week before the Champions League final in Istanbul.
“I prefer me now I’m older,” Guardiola said. “The first years, when I was at Barcelona, it was more difficult for me to handle it. Now I’m a bit better at knowing how to. At the end I learned many times at stages when I have lost – especially in the Champions League – that in the end you will be criticised for one day, two days.
“Then, the next day, you start preparing for next season. And you also realise that nothing much changes whether you win or lose in the end, honestly. Of course in that moment it is important to try and do it, and get it, but still we are here.”
An Everton side fighting for survival will offer different opponents to those City faced in the Bernabéu. Guardiola said: “The players are so humble and respectful to the opponents. They know exactly how difficult it is against Everton, because they live it and they know it and what they are playing for. I don’t know what is going to happen but I am pretty convinced there will be incredible focus at Goodison Park.”
Kyle Walker, who has started four of the past five league games, impressed in Madrid. He was regularly left out because of tactical reasons earlier in the season but is showing his worth again. “It does not matter if he plays or not,” Guardiola said. “They [players] are here, getting taken care of really well and when the team needs them, they will be ready. Kyle has been that.”