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Ballack urges patience with Pep over City project

Michael Ballack believes Manchester City represents a "big, big project" for Pep Guardiola and hopes the former Bayern Munich boss will get the time he needs to succeed.

Guardiola has made an impressive start to life at the Etihad, an edgy 2-1 win over Sunderland and a 4-1 dismantling of Stoke City sandwiching a 5-0 thrashing of Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League.

Former Germany international Ballack was impressed by Guardiola's work in the Bundesliga and is confident he will bring further trophies to City, but stressed patience may be required in the early going.

Ballack told Omnisport: "He's very fanatical in the way [he wants his sides] to play, with perfection.

"He's a credit in the way he analyses opponents, or his own team. He loves his job. You see his passion.

"It's a new challenge for him. It's a big, big project for Manchester City. I don't know if he found the same squad as Bayern. It's not the same team quality-wise as he had at Bayern. We shouldn't expect too much at the beginning."

Guardiola's main competition for the Premier League title is likely to come from across Manchester with Jose Mourinho's United also looking strong following another summer of heavy spending.

Ballack added: "Sometimes we over analyse, sometimes football is simple.

"Mourinho has paid more attention to the defence, which is also important. Pep is a different coach. He is an emotional coach. He likes to play high pressing and through the middle. We as fans like to see attractive football."

Ballack is also expecting Liverpool to be stronger this season under Jurgen Klopp.

"Klopp will have found out a lot in his first year," he said.

"Everything in a club takes time. We will see an even better Liverpool, we saw some great performances last season but it's very difficult in the Premier League to do that over a whole season.

"His big strength is the mental part, to go deep into a team and motivate them."