Pep Guardiola: I need time at Man City… but I know I don’t have it

“When I see a guy who played here, like Xabi Alonso, I’m like, ‘Tell me about England, tell me about the Premier League, the Premier League, the Premier League’. “I never found one person who said, ‘Oh, it will be easy for you.’ They all said it’s tough. It’s tough. I don’t know why. That’s what I want to discover.

“The big clubs go wherever, they’re soft (in a game) and they are able to lose. I have to discover that for myself. I have to see that.

“Every stage is a big challenge. It could be the biggest because City have not won as many titles as Barcelona or Bayern but I can’t answer.”

Guardiola insisted he would give England’s Euro flops Joe Hart and Raheem Sterling all the support they need to help get them back to their best.

But at the same time they will have to prove their worth to him.

Hart and Sterling got most of the criticism for England’s embarrassing Euro 2016 exit at the hands of Iceland last month and Guardiola added: “They were criticised when they lost.

“Sterling I hear the last 10 days what happened. Of course he has a little problem with the money they paid and that is in the mind of the people.

“But I am encouraged and I am looking forward to work with him and show him how good a player he is and not just him, Joe Hart and the other English players.”

Guardiola also said that going up against new United boss Jose Mourinho again can take him to “another level”.

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