Pep Guardiola is refusing to get carried away by Manchester City’s outstanding start to the season and insists maintaining it will not be easy.
City’s 4-0 demolition of Bournemouth took them five points clear at the top of the Premier League with a seventh successive victory in all competitions making it the club’s best ever start to a season.
But Guardiola believes there is still room for improvement in a team he has rejuvenated since arriving from Bayern Munich earlier this summer.
“Numbers are numbers. One record will be for another person to beat,” said Guardiola.
“The important thing is we won a game after a Champions League game. We had three days to prepare and when you play in the Champions League those games are so demanding.
“I am happy. We have won five games in the Premier League.
“In our world with social media it’s better to stay back and don’t read and don’t listen too much.
“I know we are going to lose games and when that happens it’s important to be stable like we are stable now.
“When we win we are so happy, our training sessions are better and the people laugh more but we know that still we have a lot of things to get better.”
Guardiola said that the season had barely got underway and he had had enough warning prior to arriving at how tough a title it is to win.
“We are in September. It’s nothing. We have played absolutely nothing,” said the 45-year-old Spaniard.
“I have heard from a long time ago that the Premier League is the toughest ever so I’m not going to accept now it’s so easy.”
City were inspired to their fifth successive league win by Kevin de Bruyne, who scored the opening goal from a free-kick and then had a hand in each of the next three from Kelechi Iheanacho, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan on his first start for the club.
Apart from Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Guardiola believes De Bruyne deserves to be rated as among the world’s best players.
“Maybe Messi can sit alone at the table. But that table aside, Kevin can stay there,” said Guardiola, who enjoyed many memorable moments with Messi at Barcelona.
“I think he’s a special player – an outstanding player. He makes everything.
“Without the ball he is the first fighter and with the ball he’s clear. He sees absolutely everything. He decides what you have to do at the right moment every time.
“Every time he makes the right decision. That’s why he is a player at another level.
“I am lucky and we are lucky to have him.
“We will take care of him and I hope he will enjoy it with us to play his amazing football.”
Bournemouth’s third league loss of the season made it a tough full debut for on-loan Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.
But manager Eddie Howe claimed it was an unfair performance by which to judge the England international.
“It was difficult for Jack. We want to see Jack in the final third to use his best qualities,” said Howe.
“That was impossible today but when he can do that gets used to the way we play he will be a very good player for us.
“It was a difficult day for us. Our plan wasn’t to sit as deep in the first half but we ended up getting trapped.
“They were better than us but I’m disappointed with our performance. You have to give them credit for the way they played but we can do better,” added the 38-year-old Englishman. – Agence France-Presse