Pep Guardiola has admitted that his current Manchester City team are not yet at the level he had at former sides Barcelona and Bayern Munich because the club is really still just getting used to competing on the biggest stages on a regular basis.

The revered coach also humbly suggested that his managerial triumphs to date have been down to the quality players he's had the opportunity to work with.

Barcelona's coach Josep Guardiola (L) sp

"I've said it a thousand times - the success I've had is because of the very good players I've had, at Barcelona, at Bayern and now at City," Guardiola said in an interview with El Mati de Catalunya Radio this week.

"Maybe the difference between the City squad and the others is the amount of experience they have at the highest level. Barça and Bayern have played a lot of important games and know how to cope with them - they are very calm about it," the 46-year-old explained.

"When [Barça or Bayern] play a Champions League final or semi-final they've already played 20 before. And City is playing its first or second one because the club hasn't been in [the Champions League] for 30 years. That needs time to build up," he added.


"You can't just go to Camp Nou, the Allianz Arena or the Bernabeu and say 'I've got this'. You have to get used to it first."

Failing to deliver any silverware in his debut campaign with City, Guardiola experienced the very first trophy-less season of his career to date. He is prepared to accept that expectations deservedly were not met, but remains confident in the project as a whole looking ahead.

"When you are so far behind the winners it is because you weren't good enough and that's it. What matters is what you will do to get better next season," Pep commented.

"I learned from a young age that he worst thing in sport is to look for excuses. There are key moments in the final stages of the season when you can win or lose things in one game. But I think we weren't good enough to compete with our rivals in the league. In cup competitions there is an element of luck, but in the league that's not the case."


Guardiola still retains the supports of City executives and former Barça colleagues Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain and is grateful for the way things are being run.

"In every project now you have to win from the first day, but it's true that I feel very protected here at City. Working with Txiki and Ferran helps a lot," he said.

"It's the first time in my career as a coach that I have lost so often, but we've been in it together and it's gone well. [City] is a club where decisions are made collectively so it is easier to control things and there is less interference - the responsibility belongs to all of us."

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