We'll do it my way: Guardiola insists on business as usual
MANCHESTER, DEC 30: Pep Guardiola says he will never change his football principles even if Manchester City's poor run of form continues into the new year.
A run of three defeats in four Premier League matches has seen Guardiola's side slip from first to third in the Premier League table, severely damaging their chances of retaining the title they won with a record 100 points in May.
City follow up Sunday's visit to Southampton with a home match against leaders Liverpool on Thursday, before struggling Championship side Rotherham United visit in the FA Cup three days after that.
Liverpool are 10 points clear of City after crushing Arsenal 5-1 on Saturday.
Guardiola said that even if City lost all three of their next matches, he would not waver from the high-pressing, fast-passing principles with which he has made his reputation as a coach.
"That is not going to happen. It did not happen in the first year; it is not going to happen," he said.
"Why should I? Because I lost two games? No way. It is definitely not going to happen.
"The same applied in my first season when I answered this question, 10 or 20 times, when people wondered about this guy, about what he believes, coming here and playing this way in England.
"It's not because I ever tried to show you through my words that I am special, or better, or unique, or something like that. I defend what I believe, and I believe in that."
City's unbeaten start to the Premier League season was ended by a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea on December 8, but they appeared to have rediscovered their form as they beat Hoffenheim in the Champions League.
They then defeated Everton in the Premier League before beating Leicester City on penalties to reach the semi-finals of the League Cup, keeping alive the possibility of a clean sweep of four trophies this season, a feat unprecedented in English football.
Successive defeats against Crystal Palace and Leicester in the league were significant setbacks, with Guardiola suggesting that he and his players had to work harder to tackle the strengths of their opponents.
"Every team has its specific things," Guardiola said. "(At Leicester, goalkeeper Kasper) Schmeichel put long balls there and there, and Southampton are always (playing) in the middle. We try to discover what they do. -AFP