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Pernickety Pep tells Man City to keep striving


Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has called on his players to not let their record-breaking start to the Premier League season stop them from aiming for even higher heights.

City have won 10 and drawn one of their 11 matches to date — matching Chelsea’s 2005-06 record — and scored 38 goals, 15 more than any other team.

But Guardiola has told his side they can perform even better ahead of Saturday’s trip to Leicester City.

“The moment they don’t believe they can be better, that’s the moment we crash,” the 46-year-old told reporters on Friday.

“They will make a big mistake when they think we’ve done enough. When we analyse the results, there is nothing to say.

“But when you see the games — picking out the mistakes — and we have 10 mistakes the same, then there is a reason to work for the future.”

City have won their last 15 games in all competitions since a 1-1 draw with Everton in August, including a penalty shootout success over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the League Cup.

Not only is that a club record, but it is also the best run of any English team in football history.

They have also scored 52 goals across all competitions this season, which is the best goal tally for an English side after 17 games in the Premier League era.

Guardiola, whose side are eight points clear of second-place Manchester United, still wants to see an improvement from his players, but says he is not a perfectionist.

“We’ve missed some easy balls. When we defend deep, we are not completely organised,” said the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach.

“There was a clear counter-attack during our last game (a 3-1 win over Arsenal) that we didn’t finish. When one guy makes a bad pass or bad control, we can improve that.

“It’s impossible to be perfect, but it’s (possible) to be better.

“We cannot deny that we’re happy in terms of results, but it’s the same as when we were winning games at Barcelona and Bayern Munich: you can always do better.

“We can improve individually and collectively. Opponents are going to create more and more problems.

“How are we going to solve that? The perfect game, team, players, managers do not exist.”

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