Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will give his players until the end of the season to prove they have what it takes to wrestle the Premier League title back from presumptive winners Liverpool.
Guardiola has already conceded that Jurgen’s Klopp’s side will lift the trophy after opening up a 16-point gap at the top. And as he turns his attention to getting it back, the City boss has admitted every member is his squad is playing for their future.
“My bosses have one eye to see if I deserve to continue here,” said Guardiola. “My eyes have to control my players and how their performances deserve to be here. There is no other solution.
“Everything is related to the performance, not about the contract we have or what we are. For me as a manager [I’m] being observed and it’s the same for the players.”
David Silva has announced his attention to leave after a decade at the Etihad Stadium but Guardiola has said in the past he may not seek a replacement for the Spaniard.
“I have an idea what we need,” said Guardiola. “We speak quite often with the club. There are still four months and it depends on that. We are going to take a decision.
“We are not far away to get the standards [of Liverpool]. The way we’ve played is quite similar.
“I think every season all the teams move a little bit of the squad. Some have to move a lot in some areas. Maybe we have to buy some new players. Not much some new players.”
Meanwhile, Guardiola has suggested the Premier League’s punishing schedule could hurt England’s chances of winning their first major trophy since 1966 at this summer’s European Championship.
Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate has seen Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford sidelined with long-term injuries just months before the competition starts while Guardiola has also admitted concerns about the amount of games Raheem Sterling has played this season.
“It’s a big blow for the national team, Kane and Rashford are incredibly important players for them,” said Guardiola. “Hopefully there isn’t another one who does that and they can recover. There are still many months ahead before the Euros. It’s an incredible amount of games.
“With that number of games, players break down. I’m not surprised. I’m so sorry for them. The big administration people cannot complain because it’s normal this happens.
“It’s unsustainable. The players fall down. It’s too much. I’m so sorry for Kane and Rashford because they are good for the league, but we demand a lot from the players, it’s too much. A distance of two or three days again and again. The players suffer. The body says stop, it’s enough.”