Man City’s Guardiola says Tottenham, Manchester United ‘absolute finals’


ManchesterCity coach Pep Guardiola announced Tuesday that his team's next three matcheswill go a long way to defining their season as they chase an unprecedentedQuadruple.

City faceTottenham on Wednesday night in the Champions League trailing 1-0 from thefirst leg followed by a Premier League double-header against Spurs again andManchester United.

Anything buta victory on Wednesday would see them eliminated from Europe at thequarterfinal stage for the second year running — and Guardiola said hebelieves only maximum points in the Premier League will be enough to secure thetitle.

"If wedon't win these games we will be out of two competitions," he told a newsconference. "They are absolute finals for us, I've had that feeling fromweeks ago.

"Everytime in a competition [they are] when you arrive in the latter stages. We don'thave a 12-point [gap] like last season — in this period, we were alreadychampions.

"Butthis season we have an incredible opponent like Liverpool in the PremierLeague. What they have done so far they deserve. Normally with 84 or 86 pointsyou are champion — they have 85. Both teams deserve to be champions but justone team is going to get it."

Spurs' firstleg victory was helped by a noisy and intense atmosphere from the fans at theirnew 62,000-capacity stadium, and Guardiola said he needs the fans to generate asimilar atmosphere if they are to make the semifinals.

"Manytimes I played in the semifinals and quarterfinals, and every time I playedaway the atmosphere was really incredible," he added. "They supporttheir local teams.

"Weneed it — really, we need it. I want to see that they want to get to thesemifinals. Not the players, the players I have no doubt about after 20 months.I want to see my fans, our fans, that they really want the semifinals. I wantto see that tomorrow."

City remainin the hunt for the Quadruple and while Guardiola has played down thepossibility, defender John Stones said the players will do everything to winall four trophies.

"Idon't think a lot of things are impossible, that is the mindset of differentpeople and if you don't dream big then you are not going to get anywhere nearit," he said. "It comes from within everyone — we have this beliefand ambition to do it.

"Likelast season, 100 points never done before. We won the league quite early andstill had the belief to go on and do it."

OleksandrZinchenko is the only player ruled out although Fernandinho only returned totraining on Monday and is not yet at full intensity after being ruled out ofSunday's win at Crystal Palace.

Tottenham,meanwhile, are definitely without Harry Kane but Guardiola said they willremain dangerous opponents.

"[Theywill be] the same strong team they had three years ago, last season and this.[They are an] incredible top team."

Related Stories

No stories found.