Pep Guardiola has taken the blame for Manchester City’s Champions League defeat in Barcelona, but says he will quit and go home to Spain before changing his ways.
City were beaten 4-0 in the Nou Camp after Guardiola kept Sergio Aguero on the bench and then saw Claudio Bravo, the goalkeeper he signed to replace Joe Hart, sent off for deliberate handball.
It means that Guardiola has failed to win in four games for only the third time in his coaching career, and has brought his methods into question for the first time.
He said: ‘I’m responsible for what happened on Wednesday. When you lose 4-0, welcome to the critics. Move on.
‘But I’m not going to change. I’ll go home before I change. I won 21 titles in seven seasons. That’s three a season playing in that way. Sorry guys.’
Asked if he even thinks about changing, Guardiola replied:
‘You would like that? I think about that but the solution is not better than what I believe.
‘But if you believe I am going to win 4-0 at the Camp Nou. No, I am good but not that. If it is not going well in the future, I will go. But the way we want to play, the academy will play, is the way I think is good.
‘When the players don’t follow me, I will speak with the club but I feel they follow me.
‘At Everton, one of my friends Ronald Koeman said he never faced a team playing football like Manchester City. That is the best compliment I can receive. The best title.’
Guardiola insisted that Bravo made the right decision in trying to play the ball to a teammate before gifting it to Luis Suarez, but admitted there are occasions when he wants his goalkeeper to play the ball long.
He added: ‘I know from the beginning when Claudio is going to make a mistake, he will be on the front page. Every defender midfielder, striker missing a penalty makes mistakes but Claudio has to fight against that.
‘Sometimes you have to put a long ball. I don’t know if this time you have to put a long ball. The decision was not wrong in that moment but the action he did not pass good and that can happen.
‘It is a pity because in that moment the game was open. It is a good lesson for us.’