Pep Guardiola: I never promise titles

Pep Guardiola claims Manchester City's Champions League failure has only strengthened his belief in his footballing philosophies.

Guardiola was criticised for gambling on an attacking line-up after City surrendered a 5-3 first-leg lead to crash out of Europe on away goals with a 3-1 loss at Monaco in midweek.

It is not the first time Guardiola's methods have come into question with his desire to play out from the back and build intricate attacks coming unstuck at times.

But far from thinking his team selection in Monaco backfired or blaming poor defending, Guardiola felt the defeat was down to players not sticking to the game plan.

For that he himself accepted responsibility, suggesting his instructions were not clear enough, and he is now even more determined to get it right next time.

He said: "I never came here and said we are going to win one title. I never said I am going to win the treble, I never said I was going to win the double. I never said it. I never said it on my first day in Barcelona.

"I promise a lot of work. Few guys can beat me in that. I work a lot. I am so proud of that.

"I never promise titles, never in my life, even when I went to Bayern Munich after they won the treble with Jupp Heynckes. Never. Just work.

"I can only assure (people) they are going to play the way I want. The only power I have is this one. The pleasure is to do the job the way I want.

"The second half in Monaco showed me when you attack more and play more aggressive, you concede few. That game showed me and I am even more convinced what I want to do."

City's exit at the last-16 stage was a blow to Guardiola's pride having never failed to reach the semi-finals in seven previous campaigns with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

The Spaniard's past record in the Champions League, which includes two triumphs with Barcelona, was perhaps the chief reason he was appointed and expectations were high when he arrived last summer.

On Sunday, City play Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in the Premier League.

Guardiola said: "Football managers around the world don't all win titles during the season. That is the normal situation, my career is the exception.

"Of course we want to win titles, everyone wants to win titles, we play for that and we fight for that.

"When I arrived here I said I wanted to play good, win games and win titles, as much as possible, definitely - but I think all colleagues in the Premier League and around the world at big clubs think the same.

"I am here with big expectations because I won a lot in Barcelona and Bayern Munich but sometimes you don't win. I will try to learn from that and speak to the people close to me about how we can improve and make the team better next season.

"It is a no-ending job. Always you can do better and better. That's why I am confident we will be better next season."

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