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Pep Guardiola defiant ahead of Southampton clash
Pep Guardiola is determined to get Manchester City back to winning ways at the expense of Southampton.
City's 4-0 midweek humbling by Barcelona in the Champions League extended their winless run to four games.
It is an unfamiliar scenario for manager Guardiola and another disappointing result as Southampton visit in the Premier League on Sunday would equal the worst run of his career.
Only once has former Barca and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola gone five games without a win, at the Nou Camp more than seven years ago.
Guardiola said: "Managers in other parts of the club have to think short and long term but the (team) managers day by day. We are judged on what happens today, so I'm thinking about Southampton.
"Of course we have to win because it is four times without a win and we need that. But, at the same time, we were able to win 10 times in a row, so we are now able win four, five or six times."
Southampton were also involved in European action in the week, losing 1-0 to Inter Milan at San Siro. Until then Saints had been enjoying a good run, going seven games unbeaten, and Guardiola has been impressed by what he has seen of them.
He said: "I saw the game against Inter Milan. Football is unbelievable because they played amazingly, much better than Inter, and Inter won. Inter just shot once and won.
"Southampton created six, seven clear chances and didn't win. They lost but I was really impressed.
"People talk about what a good team they are. I saw in this game and a little bit of another game how good they are. It will be tough."
Southampton manager Claude Puel insists City remain the team to beat in the Premier League despite their recent blip and refutes suggestions that now is the best time to be facing Guardiola's wobbling side.
"I think Manchester played a good game, a good style of game against Barcelona," he said. "For me there was no big difference between the two teams, apart from one player, Messi, who made the difference.
"But I saw a very good team at the start against Barcelona with quality, a good collective and good players.
"If they can do good work against us it's important for us to think and prepare. Just two days between the games is very difficult and Manchester have had more time to recover.
"It's difficult to play against Manchester City, or Barcelona, because they like to have the ball, they have quality. It's difficult to defend against.
"It's the challenge for us on Sunday to find the solution, but not just to defend. It's important to play and give problems to this team. It's important to play our football.
"We have played good football since the start of the season. Will will see against City because City are for me, the top, so it's a good challenge for us to see our progress in the Premier League."
City will be without both of their senior right-backs as Pablo Zabaleta is out following the blow to the foot that forced him off at Barcelona while Bacary Sagna is still sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Captain Vincent Kompany, who briefly returned from a groin injury against Everton last week, could again be doubtful after being unable to feature at the Nou Camp. The fitness of midfielder Fabian Delph remains unclear after a muscle problem.
Southampton are missing striker Shane Long after he suffered a hamstring injury on Thursday.
Full-backs Ryan Bertrand, Matt Targett and Cedric Soares will be assessed after missing the trip to Milan, while Nathan Redmond returns to the squad after being rested.