Richard Dunne says Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge of Manchester City can be considered a success if they end it by winning the FA Cup.
City face Middlesbrough in the sixth round on Saturday, with the trophy representing their most realistic chance of silverware between now and the end of the campaign.
Guardiola’s men are currently third in the Premier League table, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea, while they lead Monaco 5-3 after the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
Dunne told FourFourTwo: “If City win the FA Cup, I think they will see that as a successful season and Guardiola should be happy if they achieve that.
“The Premier League is so competitive – it’s not a top four anymore, it’s more like a top six which makes it a lot more difficult to win than other divisions in Europe.”
Guardiola won the Champions League, La Liga and the Copa del Rey in his first year as a manager at Barcelona, while he also lifted the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal trophies in his maiden campaign in charge of Bayern Munich.
However, Dunne believes the 46-year-old will now be well aware that achieving the same level of success in England could prove difficult.
“I saw an interview with Gareth Bale recently and he said Real Madrid know they can take their foot of the gas against lesser teams in La Liga,” he added.
“In England it’s a different story. The teams at the bottom can shock you and they see you as a scalp, so you can’t afford to not be at your best. I think Guardiola may have been surprised by that.”
Watch Middlesbrough v Manchester City live on BT Sport 2 on Saturday 11th March from 11:45pm. BT Sport is your home unmissable football with live coverage of the Emirates FA Cup. Visit btsport.com for more info.
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