Guardiola defends tactics as City falter again

Pep Guardiola claims his tactical system and the Manchester City players are not to blame for the team's failure to convince in recent weeks after losing 4-2 at Leicester City on Saturday.

City suffered a damaging 3-1 defeat at home to Premier League title rivals Chelsea last weekend and seven days later they were 3-0 behind after just 20 minutes away to the champions, who had been struggling badly for form so far in the defence of their crown.

The Foxes were made to look like world-beaters again at the King Power Stadium, though, as Jamie Vardy bagged a hat-trick to end a long goal drought and Andy King also curled home a stunning effort from range.

Asked by BT Sport if he needs to persist with one formation to allow his players to become familiar with it, Guardiola replied: "No, I don't think so. They [Leicester] play long balls, we knew that and the second balls. When they win the ball they are looking for our back four with the movement of Vardy and the other players. They did it well.

"It's not about the system."

John Stones was at fault for Leicester's fourth goal, attempting to play a short backpass to Claudio Bravo that was intercepted by Vardy.

The City manager, though, rejected suggestions his players are not equipped to fulfil his tactical expectations. 

"No," he said.

"No, no, no. We defended well with these players in the beginning of the season. Now we have to stand up and analyse what happened. And especially the players need to mentally make a step forward and say 'ok, we are here'."

Guardiola added: "All the mangers need time.

"They [Leicester] counterattack so tough and defend so well. We tried until the end. In every game there's [at least] one good thing. We tried but it's difficult at that level … after [going behind] 2-0, 3-0."

Up next for City is a match at home to Watford in the Premier League on Wednesday.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1