SportSoccer

Pep Guardiola makes a surprising confession over his decision making

Guardiola has got off to a flier at Man City
Guardiola has got off to a flier at Man City

Pep Guardiola claims he does not like making the difficult decisions which have characterised his first few months in charge of Manchester City.

But the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach has made clear he is the boss and will not shy away from tough choices if necessary.

Already in his reign, which began only in July, Guardiola has taken a firm line with two of the best players in the club's recent past.

England number one Joe Hart has been replaced and sent out on loan while Yaya Toure has been told he will not represent the club again unless his outspoken agent apologises for recent controversial comments. Other big money players in Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony and Eliaquim Mangala have also been loaned out.

Guardiola's methods have so far been vindicated in an exhilarating start to the campaign, which has seen City win their first nine games of the season in all competitions, an unprecedented feat for the club.

The 45-year-old said: "I don't take the decisions to show my authority, I don't like to take those decisions.

"The toughest decision was Joe. I know what it means, Joe Hart for this club, but when I take a decision I am always thinking what is the best for Manchester City.

"I know I am going to make a mistake but I have to do that. I did it when I was 37 years old with the first team in Barcelona, and now I am older.

"The club cannot accept a manager (agent) talking in the media about decisions of the club. The players know that.

"The managers, the wives, the fathers, the sons, talking about something that is not good benefit for the club - they are not going to be part of the team.

"I don't know if they agree or not but in terms of what happens in my squad, I am the chief. I am going to decide. I don't like to do that, but it is the best for the club."

Guardiola is also demanding high standards from his players on the field. Even the prolific Sergio Aguero, who has scored nine goals in five games and is poised to return at Swansea on Saturday after serving his suspension, must pull his weight in other areas.

Guardiola said: "Of course the striker has to score goals. I am so, so happy with Sergio but I want more. He can do better.

"I don't want Sergio to run too much without the ball - I don't want him running 40 metres without the ball - but four, five, six seconds' effort, he can do that.

"I try to convince them what they have to do. We prefer to have the ball, we believe we can create more chances, but when we don't have the ball we will try to press to win the ball again as soon as possible.

"When I see one player not go to the press, what I feel is they don't want to play. They don't want the ball. They prefer the ball for the opponent. I don't like that.

"I like the ball in our possession and after that try to create as much as possible."