Pep Guardiola has admitted that Manchester City have been lacking consistency this season after surrendering their title with seven games to spare.
Manchester City have enjoyed unparalleled success in the last couple of seasons, becoming the first side to win back-to-back titles in a decade, amassing 198 points along the way, while also lifting the League Cup and FA Cup last season as part of an unprecedented domestic treble.
This season, however, Guardiola’s side have been unable to mount any semblance of a title challenge, already losing nine Premier League games, with Liverpool running away with the title following their record-breaking start to the season.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Pep Guardiola was asked what has been missing from his side’s season.
“Our consistency,” he said. “We’ve not converted our game plan. In this business, you have to win.
“When you’ve lost nine games you can’t win the Premier League – maybe years ago, but not right now. The champions need to get more than 90 points.”
However, the Catalan had no doubts about his side’s commitment, insisting their shortcomings this season is down to avoidable mistakes.
“After two or three successful seasons [the players’ commitment] is unbelievable,” Guardiola added. “We are at the point where we sometimes make mistakes. We have to avoid that. In some games the lack of goals punish us as a team.”
City are set to be without Sergio Aguero for the rest of the season due to a knee injury, with Gabriel Jesus the clubs only backup striker. The Brazilian has only netted once since football’s restart last month, though Guardiola was keen to praise his performance in the 1-0 loss to Southampton.
“What I want with Gabriel Jesus is the way he played against Southampton,” he said.
“It was maybe one of his best performances of this season. We can use him in our process and in the box he is ready to do it. We need his goals, he knows it, for the team.”
City, who have lost three of their last seven games, will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they host Newcastle at the Etihad on Wednesday evening.