Pep Guardiola expects to be labeled a “failure” if Manchester Metropolis would not attain the semifinals of the Champions League for the fifth straight yr since he joined the English membership.
Metropolis holds a 2-1 lead over Borussia Dortmund heading into the second leg of the quarterfinals on Wednesday, so the crew has its finest likelihood but of reaching the semifinals for the primary time beneath Guardiola.
The Spanish coach hasn’t gained the competitors — and even reached the ultimate — since capturing the second of his titles with Barcelona in 2011, with critics blaming him for overthinking his techniques within the massive knockout matches at not solely Metropolis however when in control of Bayern Munich from 2013-16.
“This can be a enterprise, and enterprise is enterprise. Enterprise is successful,” stated Guardiola, who was in an animated temper at a information convention on Tuesday.
“If we do not win, I will likely be a failure. If we win, it is going to be Oh, how good is Pep.’” Since Guardiola joined in 2016, Metropolis was eradicated by Monaco within the final 16 earlier than shedding within the quarterfinals in three straight seasons, to Liverpool, Tottenham and Lyon.
Metropolis was the favourite on every event. Ilkay Gundogan joined Metropolis concurrently Guardiola, and the Germany midfielder believes the crew’s home dominance in that interval has its drawbacks on the subject of enjoying towards harder opponents and with greater stress within the Champions League.
Put merely, Metropolis isn’t used to having to answer setbacks. “We have to study that it is regular to wrestle,” Gundogan stated.
“At this stage, enjoying towards the perfect groups in Europe, it is regular. Everybody has high quality and it is also regular to concede a aim.
“However possibly it is one thing we aren’t too used to, going behind, conceding or struggling. As a result of we’re used to all the time dominating the sport, having possession … Errors are regular. Simply making an attempt to cope with it’s the solely factor that was a little bit bit lacking.”
Metropolis confirmed some spine within the first leg, responding to conceding an equalizer by Marco Reus within the 84th minute by scoring a winner within the 90th by Phil Foden.
Certainly, Gundogan has a sense this season may very well be totally different for Metropolis due to crew’s improved stability in protection has led to solely two targets being conceded in 9 video games to date this marketing campaign.
“I really feel like we’re way more steady in the meanwhile, particularly defensively. We’re defending fairly effectively and I feel the extra you proceed within the competitors, the extra necessary that will get as effectively,” he stated.
“Clearly it offers you a protected feeling when you recognize that your defensive position is working nice, your goalkeeper is nice, you’re working as a crew defensively very well.”
That doesn’t imply Metropolis will head to Dortmund seeking to merely defend its lead. Guardiola’s intention, as traditional, is to win the sport.
“If you happen to assume in the sort of recreation concerning the penalties, or the targets it’s a must to rating or can concede, you overlook what it’s a must to do,” Guardiola stated.
Gundogan agreed, including: “For us, the perfect case is all the time going right into a recreation feeling we wish to win the sport. Defending a end result I do not really feel it suits us. It is the way in which we’re as gamers. It is not the way in which we play as a crew.”
Metropolis remains to be going for an unprecedented quadruple of main trophies this season, having reached the ultimate of the English League Cup, the semifinals of the FA Cup and brought an 11-point lead within the Premier League.
Nonetheless, although, regardless of all of the home trophies he has gained at Metropolis — two league titles, three League Cups and one FA Cup — Guardiola can’t be positive what his gamers’ psychological state will likely be on this newest Champions League knockout match.
“Proper now, I do not know. Truthfully,” he stated. “In regards to the managed feelings, no matter occurs within the recreation, the various, many cases, I do not know. They’re human beings. They’ve emotions.”