Pep Guardiola has issued a warning to his Manchester City team: those who don’t continue to perform will be cut from the squad.
City recently won their 21st game in a row with a 4-1 result against the Wolverhampton Wolves, continuing their unbeaten streak in the English Premier League. But Guardiola is not ready to get complacent.
“The moment when I feel everyone is thinking the job is done or how good it is, this guy is not going to play,” said Guardiola, ahead of the Tuesday fixture.
“I’m so intuitive to know exactly the guys are not ready to continue what we have to do. The champions are Liverpool, we are not.
“We have still to win eight, nine or 10 games, and it’s a lot. It’s a lot of games in this moment. We saw incredible teams struggle for four or five games to win.
"It can happen to us, too. Last season it happened. In the beginning of the season it happened. We were unable to win three games in a row in the first two months,” he added.
Guardiola stressed: “Right now, today, the champion is Liverpool. We are not. The champion is Liverpool. In Europe, it’s Bayern Munich. If you want to have this honour, you have to win it.”
Riyad Mahrez, who scored a 90th minute goal against the Wolves, agreed with his boss’ stern philosophy.
“We compete very good with each other, it’s the only way to improve the team and the squad. Trophies, like everyone said, we have to play game by game and see what happens,” said Mehrez.
Bernardo Silva was also responded to his manager’s warning.
“We know how it works, we know how focussed we have to be,” he said. “We know how good the squad is and if someone wants to play you have to show it on the pitch and work hard to deserve it.”
Man City are currently 15 points clear at the top of the EPL table, with Manchester United in second place.
However, every other team in the league, except for Wolves, has at least one game in hand. Aston Villa have three games in hand, while Everton and the Spurs have two games in hand.
Reigning champions Liverpool are down to sixth place on the table, having one only one of their last five fixtures. They are 22 points behind City.