Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

15.21 13 May 2021


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Pep Guardiola has revealed the crucial moment that helped turn Manchester City's season into a title-winning one.

On November 19, City sat 13th in the Premier League table following a 1-1 draw with Liverpool. By that stage they'd already dropped points to Leicester, Leeds and West Ham.

But Guardiola has pinpointed that day as being crucial to their improved fortunes.

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That day, the 50-year old put pen-to-paper on a new two-year contract, ending speculation about his future.

And speaking ahead of Friday night's trip to Newcastle, Guardiola says that show of faith from his superiors gave everyone the confidence to steer the City ship back on course.

"The culture of the manager that if you don’t win you are sacked," he said, "Of course the players trust you especially if you win, if you don’t win, even for one month and after three years, they see weakness.

"Even in winning in the recent past, if you start to lose they start to doubt, so the best way is to win games. But personally, it’s a special gratitude to our sports director Txiki [Begiristain], he’s a friend of mine and it would be hard without him and especially Khaldoon.

"I travelled to see Khaldoon in November and we had long discussions together, he said I still had a lot of work to do and I trust him a lot.

"I said 'okay we will try again'. My happiness here is from his determination and we still have stuff to do.

"We started with some ups and downs, that’s the big difference, I had the feeling in other clubs, I was supported at Barca or Bayern but I had feelings only of being supported when you have success.

"And when I was here in the first season, I didn't win anything, and I can’t forget the disappointment of Lyon, and the support I had from the Chairman.

"We had a lovely chat all together, players, backroom staff with Khaldoon on behalf of Sheikh Mansour.

"Our success is dedicated to him supporting me. Saying that we now have two weeks before a dream come true Champions League final.

"The show goes on next season, we will try to be strong again next season."

While City would lose their next game after Guardiola signed his extension, they would go on a run that saw them win 53 of a possible 57 points. They hit top spot by the end of January, and would never let go.

Since securing a third Premier League title in three years, Guardiola's been publicly and privately congratulated by his peers -  Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti.

"I appreciate a lot Jurgen's and Ancelotti's texts," the Catalan said.

"I couldn’t answer the messages yet but I will do today. I appreciate and admire them.

"Of course Jurgen was an inspiration for me, he made the teams with Dortmund and Liverpool and made me think a lot.

"I’d like to say thank you so much, I appreciate it a lot from him and Carlo."

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Carlo Ancelotti Jurgen Klopp Khaldoon Al Mubarak Manchester City Pep Guardiola Premier League Txiki Begiristain

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