REUTERS - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will not turn to a more defensive approach to shut out Liverpool, the Premier League’s leading scorers, when the teams meet at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Guardiola was fiercely criticised for his attack-minded tactics during the Champions League last-16 tie against Monaco, which they lost on away goals as the French side brutally exposed City’s fragile defence in a 6-6 aggregate draw.
“No. At the end we have to try,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday when asked if he would be making tactical changes for the Liverpool clash.
“We have to defend better. When we create these kind of chances the opponents have to sit back.”
Guardiola also rejected reports suggesting City are preparing for a major clear-out in the next transfer window as the manager looks to reshape his squad.
“I have heard people have written that I will change 12 or 13 players. That is impossible. They have contract. You have to pay them,” the Spaniard added.
“We will try and improve the team. Next month and a half I expect a huge step forward. Next season will be better. Just because they are out of contract doesn’t mean they will all leave. Some will stay.”
Guardiola said he was wary of rushing back injury-prone captain Vincent Kompany, who has made just six appearances this season, following his latest injury setback.
“I would like a little bit more time with him to be sure... But we’re so happy with his progress,” Guardiola said.
City are third in the table with 56 points, one above fourth-placed Liverpool who have played one game more.
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond