Pep Guardiola is urging his Manchester City players to ‘play happy football, it’s more important than winning trophies’ – as they approach a second straight Premier League crown if they beat Aston Villa
- Man City will win the Premier League title if they beat Aston Villa on Sunday
- City are a point ahead of rivals Liverpool going into the final day of the season
- Liverpool need to beat Wolves and hope City drop points to regain the title
Pep Guardiola revealed that winning a Premier League title brings a few days of joy before attention turns to the next silverware.
Victory over Aston Villa on Sunday would seal Manchester City’s fourth league title in five seasons in what Guardiola has described as the “most difficult” competition to win.
The City boss offered an insight into the mentality of the club under his stewardship ahead of the biggest weekend of the season.
Pep Guardiola has told his Man City players to focus on enjoying football rather than winning trophies
They will win the Premier League title for the second straight season if they beat Aston Villa on Sunday
“The day after we’ll be happy if we’ve won – but my advice is try to be happy playing football, that’s more important than winning trophies,” said Guardiola.
“After two or three days you feel alone. That’s all? All that effort? It’s good to have it on your resume, but no more. It’s great and then you defend as a champion for over a year. Someone has to get us out.
“The league is more difficult – there are many weeks and games, you struggle with injuries, you have good moments and bad moments. It’s satisfying because it’s every day. It makes you feel like we enjoy a lot. There was a year when Liverpool was unstoppable and we weren’t good enough.
Guardiola hopes his players won’t inflict the pain on fans they suffered in 2012 when Sergio Aguero snatched the title from rivals Manchester United in the 94th minute. City players have received advice on how to react when falling behind against Villa, as their predecessors did a decade ago.
Liverpool can lead City to the title if they beat Wolves and slip their title rivals on Sunday
“Control your emotions, we know what we’re playing for and what we have to do,” added the Catalan.
“We talked about it – be positive and don’t give up, it (wouldn’t) be (would) be over, don’t give up, do what you’ve been doing for the last month, at home and away and keep doing it .
“In the end it’s just a football game, we won’t do anything new. Go there and try to enjoy the game, enjoy the moments. We will suffer in moments when we concede a goal, come on let’s go, try again, try again and the good moments go on and do it.
“If there’s any doubt, go to the plan. We can theorize, but it’s just a football game. Today we trained like it was just a normal league game, nothing special. They know it, they feel it, so go and do it.”