After failing in Champions League for almost every year, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is assertive of an extended run in the Champions League this season. The City boss believes his team will be determined to make changes after their disappoint quarter-final loss againts Lyon.
Manchester City can secure their place in the last 16 for an eighth consecutive year with victory over Olympiacos.
Guardiola said: “We need one more game to be there mathematically, so that is great. With respect to the other ones, I have a feeling we will do really well this season.
“I don’t know why but I’ve felt it from the beginning. I expect a reaction after last season when we finished against Lyon in Portugal. We know what we have to do.”
Their Premier League form isn’t is great with points dropped and failing to keep the top spot this season but Guardiola also expects that to turn around.
The Catalan said: “We know we are a team who last season scored a lot but now we are struggling. But we have to find solutions. We have the players to find the right way to attack more fluently and I have the feeling we can score goals.
“The way we play is quite good, I’m quite happy. The little details we still have to improve. We conceded penalties that are not necessary, sometimes we need clear chances to score.
“But the moment we break one or two of these kind of things we will get better. The season is still young and I’m fully optimistic we are going to do a good season.”
Former Bayern boss, Guardiola has won six major trophies for Manchester City, including two Premier League titles, and he also signed a deal that keeps Guardiola in Manchester till 2023. Winning the Champions League is now a top priority for the club but Guardiola insists the competition is not all-consuming.
“It’s not an obsession,” he said.
“I say it every season, we are going to try our best.”
The intensity of the English fixture list this shortened season could work against the Premier League clubs in Europe, however, and Guardiola recognises this is another obstacle that must be overcome.
He said: “Every season this league is (at a) disadvantage with the rest of the leagues, not just in this special year with Covid-19, for that we’ve had to adapt to.
“Even when the situation is normal – no winter breaks, a lot of games, a lot of competitions, intensity, the weather conditions, the pitches – many, many things.
“But that is attractive and the challenge is this one. When you are able to do it, that is nice.”