PEP GUARDIOLA says he is to blame for Manchester City’s mini-slump — but claims he knows how to fix it.
The Premier League champ-ions have lost back-to-back matches — and the Etihad boss is aware there will be calls for ‘Pep out’ if that run continues.
But ahead of tonight’s home clash with Tottenham, he admits the heat is on.
The Spaniard said: “People expect us to perform well and try to find the wins otherwise, it’s ‘Pep out’.
“So this is how our job is. And I want ‘Pep in’. I want to stay here.
“That is what I want and to do that I have to win games. I have to be there and there and there in all the competitions.”
Several theories have been put forward for City’s defeats at Southampton and Manchester United — the former in the Carabao Cup quarter-final and the latter in the league — in the last two matches.
But Guardiola said: “I am the man responsible.
“When the players don’t play good and they have the desire to do it, it’s because there is something wrong in my decisions.
“So I have to find out why, because here people don’t wait, people don’t live for our memories of how good we were in the last part.”
The ex-Barcelona coach says that he relishes these kind of challenges, though, and believes he already knows the reason why they have lost their way.
He added: “I prefer to be eight points in front but I like to handle this situation — I love it.
“I’m less stressed when I feel there is no solution or I don’t know what’s happened but always I have the feeling I know the reason why it doesn’t work.
“But the fact I think I know what we have to do doesn’t mean it is going to happen.”
People expect us to perform well and try to find the wins otherwise, it’s ‘Pep out’. So this is how our job is. And I want ‘Pep in’. I want to stay here.
As well as being eight points behind top-flight leaders Arsenal, City are also in a fight for second place with Manchester United and Newcastle.
In fact, Guardiola has warned his players they are in a fight for the top four after 12 straight years of qualifying for the Champions League.
Spurs — who have lost just one of their last six league games against City and won 3-2 at the Etihad last season — could go within three points of the reigning champs by winning in Manchester tonight.
Guardiola said: “Every year it is like this — it is always difficult. I’ve said it many times, I always congratulate ourselves and the team when we finish in the top four.
“People say, ‘Oh it’s false, this guy is false’ but they are wrong. I always give a lot of credit when we qualify.”
City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is in contention to start after missing a day of training for personal reasons, while centre-back John Stones looks likely to return.
Portugal defender Ruben Dias has also returned to training after picking up a thigh injury at the World Cup.