Pep Guardiola advised Manchester City to stay calm in the title race this season after praising their perfect positional play against Newcastle.
City rose to fifth in the table – their highest position of the season so far – by beating Newcastle 2-0. It extended their unbeaten run to 10 games in all competitions and six in the league – in which they have kept five clean sheets.
The conditions did not make for an easy game against Newcastle. But City’s quality still shone through above the stormy weather.
Indeed, Guardiola liked the intensity his side played at, praising them for holding their shape. However, there is a long way to go until they can think about winning the title again.
“A tough game, the weather conditions and the opponent who we have struggled to score against,” he said.
“That is the tempo we need to play. Today our positional game was perfect, unfortunately we could not score more goals but it is a good result and three more points.
“We cannot think much, the schedule is a game every three days. The players are committed and focused.
“We are far away from the top, last week we were 10th in the table, all the season is up and down. There are weird results for everyone, this season you have to be calm in the good and the bad moments.”
Bruce satisfied with Newcastle attitude
Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce was happy with the reaction his players showed from their Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Brentford in midweek.
Bruce thought his players put in a big effort in what would always have been a difficult game at the Etihad.
“The attitude was pleasing after a difficult week or so,” he said. “You always know you will come here against a world-class team and we were beaten by the better side.
“It was a decent performance. The game in midwek has gone; we needed to respond to the criticism and they have done as much as they could. They rolled their sleeves up and had a go.
“You accept mistakes, the one thing I wanted to see was a response from a poor display in midweek and they did that.
“We’ve had big problems which seems to have gone unnoticed and we need a fit and healthy squad back soon. It has been a struggle.”