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Pep Guardiola ready to throw ‘punch in the face’ that will reignite Man City bid

Pep Guardiola hopes to kickstart Manchester City’s season (Martin Rickett/PA)
Pep Guardiola hopes to kickstart Manchester City’s season (Martin Rickett/PA)

Pep Guardiola accepts it is down to him to deliver the “punch in the face” that can reignite Manchester City’s season.

The treble winners have faltered in recent weeks after successive Premier League draws at the hands of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham were followed by defeat at Aston Villa on Wednesday.

City will hope to get back to winning ways as they travel to Luton on Sunday.

Manchester City players appear dejected after defeat at Aston Villa
Manchester City were outplayed at Villa Park in midweek (Nick Potts/PA)

Manager Guardiola said: “I’m able. I put a lot of stress on myself. I will help the team. I don’t know how, but I will help the team to come back.

“Will it be enough? I don’t know. The contenders are so strong but that’s why I have to be ready and I have to have the feeling.

“I never found a football player who, when they go out on the pitch, doesn’t want to do well, doesn’t want to run, doesn’t want to fight or doesn’t want to be positive for the team or for success.

“But sometimes after winning you want to try to do it, but you don’t do it. For what? Because you won a lot and you need a punch in your face. You need it now.

“That will be to overcome the situation. I don’t know how we’ll react but that is a challenge, to see if the team can do it.

“I’m the boss. I have to help them. They need me and I have to be there – the right words, the right training, the right message, the right selection, the right way to play.”

Manchester City training
Pep Guardiola, centre, is backing himself to get his players back on track (Martin Rickett/PA)

Guardiola used a culinary reference to explain how City’s current run can be used to spice up his side’s campaign and how they should savour victory if they triumph at Kenilworth Road.

“When you win a lot it is another macaroni pasta to eat,” the Spaniard said. “The last six months just macaroni, macaroni.

“You have to realise it’s difficult. When you realise at Luton, if you win, wow. That is what it is to be in a good way and you give credit to that.

“It’s not just when you win the semi-finals of the Champions League you say how good we are.

“Give credit every game, have the satisfaction we have done it. We had that and we have to recover it.”