Pep Guardiola does not believe his first season as Manchester City FC manager should be classed as a failure if he cannot guide the team to Premier League glory.
Pep Guardiola won the league in his first seasons at FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich FC, but his City side lie 10 points below leaders Chelsea and in fifth place after Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Liverpool.
However, he does not see winning the league as the be-all and end-all of City’s season, however, and says he is relishing the new challenge of being the hunter rather than the hunted.
“We have put a lot of stress about, ‘Oh, if you don’t win the Premier League, that is going to be not a good season’,” he told reporters after the New Year’s Eve defeat at Anfield.
“No, in that situation we’re going to analyse what happened at the end of the season, what was good, what was bad. Now it’s just focus on the next game against Burnley FC.
“I was always on top, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. But, this is a new chapter in my career as a manager to handle that and I am willing to try it with these guys.”
Chelsea have surged clear at the summit on the back of a 13-game winning streak, but Guardiola does not believe their points advantage is insurmountable.
“I was one time nine points (behind) with Barcelona, against Real Madrid I think,” said the Catalan, whose side host Burnley FC on Monday.
“It was in February or in March and after we recover until (the gap was only) four (when Madrid won the league in 2012).
“But the question is, are we able to take the gap to Chelsea? Now what we have to do is believe in the next game.”