Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits he is worried as he tries to halt the longest winless run of his managerial career.
Guardiola has gone six games without a victory as he prepares to take his team to West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Saturday.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager’s worst run before this came in the spring of 2009, during his first season in Spain, when he went five matches without winning.
Guardiola still ended that campaign by leading Barca to a treble of La Liga, the Copa Del Rey and the Champions League.
But the Spaniard conceded going so long without a victory seven years ago concerned him and that he has the same feelings now.
“It was a long time ago. I think it would have been a worry, like the same worry now,” Guardiola said on Friday.
“I don’t remember what I thought when I went five games at Barcelona without winning. I think the same right now -– you have to win right now.
“You have to do it for the minds for the players. They deserve to win because they didn’t play any game without intention, without passion. Until the last minute, they fight.
“We are in a period like that now. Many circumstances didn’t help in 2009. First of all our performance was not good enough to win the games.
“But many decisions and situations in the game didn’t help. They influenced our heads and we have to change that as soon as possible. We have to not give up.
“Maybe this situation will make us stronger for the future. I’m pretty sure of that. For the next period, not just this season but the next season as well. Maybe we will learn from that and be stronger.”
Meanwhile, Guardiola has played down concerns about Vincent Kompany’s long-term future at City after his injury-plagued captain came off at half-time during Wednesday’s League Cup defeat at Manchester United.
– Faith in Kompany –
Amid speculation Kompany could be sold, Guardiola said only that the centre-back’s position will be decided on merit.
“What is the problem now about Vincent and the future? He is a Manchester City player and the reason why he didn’t play the last two seasons regularly was because he was injured many, many times,” Guardiola said.
“We are trying to give him faith to play regularly. When he’s fit he is going to have the same options to play as his team-mates. Then it depends on my decision -– his quality, performance, everything.”
Kompany missed the end of last season, and the beginning of this one, after having a thigh operation, then limped off with a groin problem on his comeback at Swansea in the League Cup in September.
Guardiola is keen to avoid taking risks with his captain, who played 72 minutes in the Premier League against Southampton last Sunday.
“At Swansea it was a little injury, two or three weeks. That is a good thing. But in the game against Southampton, after 72 minutes he said ‘I’m tired’. In the last game against United, it was 45,” Guardiola said.
“So we are trying to handle the situation in that way until I hope we arrive at the moment he can play 90 minutes. It was just three days later after Southampton, so maybe that is the reason why he was tired.”
Guardiola, meanwhile, insists that there is no chance of him managing Real Madrid, although he did not deny reports that he was approached for the job last November, before Rafael Benitez was sacked and Zinedine Zidane appointed.
“I’m a follower of Barcelona. I don’t think Real Madrid needs a manager like me and I wouldn’t fit there either,” he added. – Agence France-Presse