Pep Guardiola is in a complimentary mood. He spoke after the huge win vs Chelsea and was very effusive in his praise of Kevin De Bruyne, among others. He also spoke about the team’s mentality vs Chelsea and the course ahead.
On De Bruyne-
“It is not his best, but he is much better, today he gave everything and scored an outstanding goal,” the City boss reflected.
“I know how difficult it is to play against Chelsea. They defend all the corridors inside, there are no channels to attack, you have to be so patient and not lose the ball in certain positions that they are waiting for.
“After that, the most important thing is to have the quality in the final third.\
“I have known Kevin for six seasons together. Nothing we have done would have been possible without him.
“(But) Our job as manager is to demand more. I want to take them out of their comfort zones and get him to believe he can do better.
“I think Kevin can do it. I want more because I know he can do it.
“It’s nice, I want Kevin to play better in some moments and some games so I have to push him and demand it because I know he can do it.”
Reacting on results vs Chelsea/mentality -
After three defeats in a row, especially in the final of the Champions League, to be able to play the way we have done in these two games is the biggest compliment I can give to my players.
“In 180 minutes, we conceded one shot on target against the European Champions.
“We defended and (showed) heart and gave everything to try to win against this team.
“I give compliments because the opponent is so good, Thomas Tuchel is an outstanding manager and the player they have playing and on the bench, in the squad is always really good.”
On team strength and future-
“It shows we believe in what we do. It doesn’t matter what happens, we try to do it and go and go and go,”
“During the season there are personal problems, the players are humans, they have families, they have problems.
“Players have highs and lows. You have to handle the situation. They are human beings.
“I have personal problems as well, but when they are there they try to do their best.
“The biggest achievement is that they give their best every game, otherwise in this league you cannot win 12 games in a row.
“It’s impossible. The opponents you see and watch every week are massive.”
Pep is so smart with his player management skills as he is hard on them when he needs to be and like this conference proves can be effusive and even calm when praising his group.
It’s a testament to why he is one of the greatest managers of all time, coaching and tactical nous combined with player management understanding.
Kudos to him and the entire coaching staff. May it continue and lead to more trophies for Manchester City.