Pep Guardiola urged his Manchester City squad to maintain their hunger for more trophies after picking up the eighth of his four-season reign with a third consecutive League Cup.
City have more cup success in sight as they travel to Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday and lead Real Madrid 2-1 after the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
Guardiola has now won 29 trophies in his managerial career after similarly successful spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich and he wants City to match the demands of those European giants going forward.
I learnt in the big clubs I was at before, and in their history, when they win a trophy they go and take a shower, and they are thinking in that moment about the next one,” said Guardiola on Tuesday.
It is so nice what we have done in that competition in the last three years but in this game we have another final.
Away in the FA Cup is always difficult because of how important this competition is for the clubs in this country. We can go through to the quarter-finals and that is what we have to do.”
The appointment of Guardiola has accelerated City’s rise to the top of the English game after Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini also won Premier League titles backed by the billions spent by the club’s Abu Dhabi-based owners.
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Sunday’s success was City’s 11th major trophy since ending a 35-year wait for silverware by winning the 2011 FA Cup under Mancini.
There is a lot of effort behind this,” added Guardiola. “The most important thing was the league when Roberto Mancini was here. It changed the mentality of the club.
The first one is always the most difficult one and Roberto Mancini and his people and players did it, then other people came after them and continued the process.
Injuries have helped halt City’s attempt at a third straight Premier League title as they trail runaway leaders Liverpool by 22 points.
Leroy Sane has missed most of the season due to a cruciate ligament injury suffered in the Community Shield in August.
The German winger is now back in training, but Guardiola will not rush him back to feature in midweek.
He is not ready. (After) six months, (it) needs a process. When you start (back training) you feel good but still it is not (right), especially confidence,” said Guardiola.
He is doing the normal steps to come back but maybe it will be easier to play in the Premier League, which we don’t have chance to win, than in this cup competition. We need to be incredibly focused all the way through.”