'I'm here to stay' says Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola

06 January 2017

Pep Guardiola has dismissed fears he is not planning to stay at Manchester City for the long haul.

The City manager spoke openly about retirement in an interview with American broadcaster NBC earlier in the week.

That came to light as he also gave a series of terse post-match interviews following Monday's victory over Burnley, fuelling suggestions the Spaniard was unhappy.

But the 45-year-old sought to put the record straight in a bullish 30-minute press conference on Thursday, making clear he hopes to remain at the Etihad Stadium for some time yet.

He said: "I said in the interview I am not going to be training when I am 60 years old.

"But guys, I am 45! I am not going to retire in two or three years. I love my job and am in the perfect place to do my job, especially here in England.

"I want to do something else in my life but not in the next three, four, five or seven years."

Guardiola did concede his comments may have been misleading.

He added: "Maybe it was inappropriate to say I am starting to say goodbye to my career, but I know what I am thinking about when I am going to retire."

City have been inconsistent over the past three months, with the defence looking particulalry vulnerable, and Guardiola accepts the responsibility.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss said: "What I feel now, when I saw in the last few games, every time the situation is not going well, it's my fault not the fault of the players."

Guardiola claims he was pleased with City's performance in beating Burnley, despite his apparent tetchiness, having played almost two thirds of the game with 10 men.

He said: "I was so happy about how we won the game - we won a fantastic game. That is what it is."

Guardiola's uneasiness after the Burnley game led some to question whether he is finding the pressure in England tougher than expected.

But West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, Guardiola's opposite number tonight as City travel to the London Stadium in the third round of the FA Cup, feels that is nonsense.

Bilic said: "Is it Barcelona, is it Bayern, is it Man City? It's the same. He knew the intensity of the English league, he was well prepared for a difficult season. He didn't expect anything less than he is getting or has faced so far."

City will be without midfielder Fernandinho tonight as he begins a four-match suspension but West Ham have Sofiane Feghouli available after his red card against Manchester United was rescinded. Hammers pair Cheikhou Kouyate and Andre Ayew have left for African Nations Cup duty.

Source: PA

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