Kevin De Bruyne doesn’t believe Pep Guardiola’s target for this season is possible - ROUND GIST

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Kevin De Bruyne doesn’t believe Pep Guardiola’s target for this season is possible

Manchester may possess the best attack in Europe this season but Kevin De Bruyne has admitted Manchester City’s rivals have worked out how to play against them this season, which makes their progress in all four competitions a far more impressive achievement. Any talk that City can win the quadruple this season is scoffed at within the club and manager Pep Guardiola looked away in disgust when the possibility was mentioned ahead of the first leg of their Champions League clash with Schalke. source: Telegraph

Yet, while the popular view is that City have not been as commanding, either domestically or in Europe during Guardiola’s third season in charge, his team remain in all four competitions and are closer than anyone has got to pulling off something no other side in English football has achieved before.

It remains unlikely. De Bruyne described the ambition of winning all four trophies available as “nearly impossible” but the Belgium international believes City’s success this season is arguably more remarkable because they have been suffered more setbacks and been placed under more stress than they did when winning the Premier League and the League Cup last year. “When I look at the standard of our performances, I think it’s the same as last year,” said De Bruyne. “In the league, we have lost a few more games than we did last year, but we are still fighting on all fronts.

“I think other teams figure out what we do, maybe, a little bit better [to stop us]. They maybe also have better squads. We just added one player, the rest is the same team. The way we play is always going to be the same with Pep, we’re not going to change. Everybody knows that.

“I don’t think there is a lot of difference. We’ve a lot of points in the league and I think the standard we are setting is still very high, maybe not the same as last year, but maybe we’ll win more titles this year. The most important thing is titles. If we win three titles, we will have done better than last year.”

City get their first opportunity to win a trophy on Sunday when the Carabao Cup holders take on Chelsea at Wembley, but they have European issues to resolve first. In many ways, the draw has been kind. City will be strong favourites to progress into the quarter-finals given Schalke are arguably the weakest side left in the competition. Although they finished second in the Bundesliga last term, they have won just two out of their last 10 games and are struggling in 14th place. “I think the goal is not to win the four competitions,” De Bruyne added. “The goal is to win every game and then the further you progress.

“Then if you win against Chelsea on Sunday, you win the competition. We are happy with where we are, but we want to progress in every round we play in. That’s now the Champions League. “We want to do well and go to the quarter-final so we are one step closer to winning it. To set standards to win all four, that’s nearly impossible.” “When we lost to Newcastle [last month], I don’t think a lot changed. On the day, we were not good enough. Sometimes you look at yourself, see the way you performed, individually or as a team. It’s always the reaction after you lose and in the last years it’s been good. We’ve had tough games and we’ve shown we are still fighting to win the league.”

De Bruyne has also had plenty of frustration on a personal level after suffering two injuries at the start of the season. Yet, the enforced break, after helping Belgium finish third at the World Cup last summer, could help him in the run in.

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