Pep Guardiola takes blame for Man City’s slow start to the season

Pep Guardiola says he must shoulder the blame for Manchester City’s erratic start to the new season.

City have already lost twice in the Premier League, including a 2-0 defeat away to Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham last weekend, which has left them down in 13th place.

Their haul of 10 goals from eight league games is their lowest return since the 2006-07 season at the same stage, when they eventually finished 14th under Stuart Pearce.

Tonight, City have some respite from their domestic woes, switching their focus to the Champions League, in which they have a 100 per cent record this term.

A point at Olympiacos will be enough to clinch their last 16 place, but Guardiola accepted City’s league form has not been good enough.

Asked if the players needed to braver in terms of taking on chances, Guardiola cleared them of blame and said the buck stops with him as boss.

Pep Guardiola maintains it his responsibility to find the answers

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“No, they are so brave,” said Guardiola. “The reason why is the manager – I have to find a way.

“I have to find a way to adapt the qualities that we have, because the same players in different seasons can make different movements and can be in better form or not better form.

“I have to adjust something, to let them feel we can create more chances. It’s in my hands to help them.

“I have to find a way to help them be what we were in the previous seasons. Even when we struggle, we have to find a way.

“We have enough players to score and we’re going to do it.

“We know we’re a team who last season scored a lot, but now we’re struggling. But we have to find solutions.

Man City have only won three of their eight league outings

“We have the players to find the right way to attack more fluently and I have the feeling we can score goals.

“It’s the little details we still have to improve. We conceded penalties that are not necessary and sometimes we need clear chances to score.

“But the moment we break one or two of these kinds of things, we will get better.

“The season is still young and I’m fully optimistic we’re going to have a good season.”

Guardiola rejected the notion that, after two year of domestic supremacy, broken last season by champions Liverpool, teams have worked out how to stop City.

Mourinho’s Tottenham nullified City’s attack and emerged victorious, despite having fewer chances and less possession than Guardiola’s side.

Pep Guardiola’s side are three from three in Europe

But Guardiola defended his style of play and said: “We conceded only two counter-attacks. They had four shots on target and two goals – congratulations.

“We shot more, we crossed more, we didn’t concede one corner.

“From day one, all the teams I know defend so deep, except Liverpool, a little bit in some moments Chelsea, but the other ones defend so deep and you have to find a way to avoid it.

“We weren’t always able to do it but that’s not the big problem right now, the counter-attack.

“It’s our fluidity to attack, to win more often and to create more chances. This is the target we have to improve.

“I have to know exactly what we have to do and help them to do it.”

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