Pep Guardiola admits he was wrong to call Spurs the ‘Harry Kane team’

• Man City manager says Tottenham match is vital in title race
• ‘When you play against the contenders it’s almost six points’

Pep Guardiola has said Tottenham Hotspur have shown he was wrong to describe them the “Harry Kane team” last year.

Guardiola’s Manchester City side face Tottenham at Wembley on Monday night. City’s manager made the comment about Kane following the win against Chelsea last September.

Mauricio Pochettino branded Guardiola disrespectful for seeming to suggest Spurs were a one-man side, but Guardiola disputed this, saying he meant only that Kane had been scoring consistently.

This context was mentioned to Guardiola when it was put to him that Tottenham, who are two points behind City, have shown this season they can perform when Kane does not score. He said: “They have shown me how wrong I was.”

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Given how close Spurs are to City the manager is aware of how vital matches may be against direct title rivals. “When you play against the contenders it’s almost six points, isn’t it?” he said. “These are important. I don’t know what’s happened in the past but it’s true that the strong teams are making a lot of points; they are not dropping points easily. That’s why maybe the games against the contenders are becoming so important.

“We’ve started with three games away against them [Arsenal and Liverpool, previously]. That’s why it is so important to take those points. But nothing is going to change. Southampton is then next at home – the same points [are available, as against Tottenham].

“The first year we dropped a lot of points against contenders. Except at Anfield and United at home, we won all of these games in the second season. The reality is what we’ve done last year shows you have to be focused on everyone. We had 100 points because we were focused on all the games.”

Guardiola also suggested Spurs perform better at White Hart Lane, which is being rebuilt, than at Wembley. “Tottenham feel more comfortable at home. That is going to happen in your stadium. We are more comfortable at the Etihad Stadium.”


Jamie Jackson

The GuardianTramp

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