After getting past Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup final, Pep Guardiola revealed that he loves the idea of his players getting used to finals.
In only the third season that Pep Guardiola has managed Manchester City, the Catalan manager has already taken the squad to their second consecutive League Cup final after getting past Burton Albion with a 10-0 aggregate score.
The second leg of this semifinal was already going to be easy for the Citizens, as they had won the first match with a historic 9-0 win at Etihad Stadium and all they needed was to not lose by a margin of at least 10 goals.
This ticket to the Carabao Cup final was pretty much a done deal, but Pep Guardiola knew that his players still needed to complete this affair and they needed to be serious about it.
From the very start of the match at a very rocky Pirelli Stadium, the manager lined up several of his best players for this match with a combination of many youth academy elements who wanted a new opportunity to impress the boss.
The young talents were accompanied by the likes of Sergio Agüero, Kevin de Bruyne, and Riyad Mahrez in order to secure the result.
The Argentine striker scored the only goal of the match after a combination with both the Belgian midfielder and the Algerian winger before the 30-minute line.
Tonight's Carabao Cup action! ⚽️
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 24, 2019
This result places Manchester City once more within reach of a new trophy, all they need is to wait for the result between Chelsea and Tottenham from this Thursday’s match in order to know who they are playing the final against.
That feeling of getting all the way to the last game of any competition is something that Pep Guardiola wants his players getting used to on a regular basis.
“We enjoy the moment because we are in a final. We know in Wembley, as we lived last season, it’s quite special. It’s nice to play a final in Wembley,” said Guardiola after the match via Four Four Two.
“[We must] protect the habit – the habit of getting into the final. Of course going to try to win it but it will not be easy because Tottenham and Chelsea are incredible teams like Arsenal was last season but we are going to try.”
“Everybody wants to play, that is a good signal. Why should we not try to do it well and arrive at the final? We’ve made back-to-back finals in this competition. People say: ‘No, the club, this team, they lack consistency.’ That’s completely the opposite.”
“I think we showed that when we arrive in the final, and in this competition next season if we are in final again it’s because every game is important.”
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) January 23, 2019
With the first final on lockdown, Pep Guardiola now has new objectives in sight with the other two tournaments in which they are still fighting for the title.
The first one is the most important for the Catalan manager, a Premier League race that has captivated everybody who enjoys English football due to the inclusion of Liverpool FC into the mix.
Guardiola is feeling especially motivated for this challenge, but he also knows that the Champions League is the major pending assignment that the Citizens have this season.
Pep knows perfectly that his job might be on the balance if his players don’t at least reach the semifinals of the competition.
The problem with the continental tournament is that not even the manager feels that the squad is ready to get that far this season.
The Catalan boss believes that his players are still on the way to become a truly competitive side that can be a worthy opponent to major clubs like FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, or Bayern Munich.
Getting his players more used to play finals is the perfect way to give them more experience in success, but Pep still thinks they are far from being that squad he envisions.
PEP 💬 It was quite good, the pitch was so dangerous, so slippery.
We made a good game, we missed the last pass but Burton had two or three clear chances.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2019
How long do you think it will take Manchester City to become a competitive squad on the continental stage? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.