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Pep Talk: “Many things help to be a champion, when one or two drop a little bit it is difficult.”

Catalan manager speaks ahead of make up game.

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Manchester City v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Pep Guardiola held his usual pre match press conference v Aston Villa. The manager touched on several interesting topics. From injuries, Dias impact and much more.

Let’s dive in-

“It’s really good (to keep clean sheets),”

“You cannot win titles if you do not play good and don’t score goals up front, like we did at the beginning of the season.

“We have been solid and conceded few except against Leicester. We have conceded few chances similar to last season.

“The difference is we have not made mistakes like we did in the past. You need to be good in set pieces, good up front, good defensively.

“Many things help to be a champion, when one or two drop a little bit it is difficult.”

“[His impact] Dias has been massive,”

“Not just with John. When playing alongside Aymer [Laporte], Eric [Garcia] or Nathan [Ake], he is a guy who has the ability to live every single action during 95 minutes.

“He is always concentrated, doing what he has to do and helping his mates - holding midfielders, full-backs and central defenders - always be concentrated.

“That is not easy to find in a 23-year-old.

“We knew the quality on the pitch. We knew the personality he had, but of course we are impressed with the mentality and the physicality to play every three games.

“Always you expect the best, but we are more than delighted with his behaviour and what he provides for the team.”

“It is a long process. The consistency must be for a long time, not just one or two months.

“John has done well in the last two months, but for a long time he was not regularly playing, and for many reasons.

“He has to be consistent in his life, take care of his body. Not just John, everyone, because the schedule is so demanding.”

“The manager is not the guy to say one word and the confidence is back,” he explained.

“The confidence is back when you live your profession 24 hours, train really good, eat really good, rest really good. The rest of the qualities will make the difference.

“Understand the way we want to play, have a good relationship with your team-mates, that is the only secret.

“It is not that I will give you confidence right now because I spoke to you for half an hour. The confidence comes from the player himself.”

“Sergio is not ready for tomorrow. He is still isolating,” the boss revealed. “I don’t know (for how long.)

Aymeric is at the last step. He is not ready for tomorrow, but he is training with us.

“Yesterday was the first one, today was the second.

“Hopefully (he will be available for the weekend). That would be good news. We need him. We cannot play with just Stones and Ruben. We need Nathan, Eric. We need Laporte.”

“The only concern is Aston Villa right now. We don’t know who will be available, right now, we will see tomorrow in the line-up. The performance is the only concerns.

“In this league you can win five games in a row and then lose three in a row. The most important thing is Aston Villa.

“They bought Watkins. Their holding midfielders are fantastic, Barkley, they provide a lot of quality. They provide a lot of quality in the box with Grealish and El Ghazi.

“They are not suffering at the bottom of the league, they will be in the Premier League again.”

Interesting comments. Notably, Stones resurgence that Pep smartly takes no credit for. A great motivator, Pep knows how to make his players the best versions of himself and Stones has stepped up to the plate.

A match v Aston Villa awaits. Come on City!