(Reuters) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday he was keen to wring further improvement from his table-topping squad, sending a stark warning to a chasing pack that is already struggling to stay in touch.
The Spaniard last year endured a first trophy-less campaign as a manager in his first season in England, but his team have shot out of the blocks this campaign, conquering all-comers with a swagger and verve reminiscent of the teams he crafted during his time in charge at Barcelona.
City’s return of 31 points and a plus-31 goal difference after 11 games represents the best-ever start to a Premier League season by any club. But though they currently lead second-placed Manchester United by eight points, Guardiola wants more.
“It’s not about the records,” he told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to 12th-placed Leicester City, when he will welcome back talismanic striker Sergio Aguero, sidelined since suffering a dizzy spell and blacking out while on international duty with Argentina.
“...I’m not here to search for magnificence, or something like that. We are here to do better than the day before.”
City’s last game was a dominant 3-1 home victory over Arsenal, their 15th win in a row in all competitions, and that followed a thrilling 4-2 away win at Napoli in the Champions League.
But Guardiola said the team were still making mistakes that needed to be ironed out if they were to negotiate a packed winter schedule.
“We have to improve to control better in some situations and keep going with that level in terms of results,” he said.
“...In terms of playing, and knowing what is going to happen in December and the schedule has 40 games in 48 days, it’s tough for everybody but for us as well, so let’s improve.”
Writing by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by John Stonestreet