Football

Best is yet to come

Guardiola sends out warning to rivals but reserves praise for Spurs boss

Pep Guardiola has warned Manchester City's title rivals their best is yet to come as they look to stretch their perfect Premier League start with a seventh win at Tottenham tonight.

Guardiola (pictured) is convinced the strength and quality of his side will only continue to grow during his three-year contract at the Etihad Stadium - and has not ruled out extending his stay with the club.

The Spaniard was pleased with the spirit shown by his side in their midweek Champions League 3-3 draw at Celtic, but believes it underlines the fact that perfection is still some way off.

Guardiola said: "In my second and third year, here we will be better than we are now. The results are almost perfect, but the performances will improve more over time.

"We have won most of our games because of our enthusiasm, at the start a new coach wins a lot of games but, to create something more stable and more controlled, you need more time.

"In my first year at Barcelona, we won the title but, by my fourth year, we were better than my first year. In my third year in Munich, we were better than my first year."

Guardiola admitted that he made the decision to leave his two previous roles relatively abruptly, and said he would have to fulfil a number of conditions in order to extend his stay with City beyond his current deal.

"I am so happy here so I'm not just thinking about, 'Will it just be three years?'.

"When I decided to say goodbye to Barcelona and Bayern Munich, I decided in the last year. I said, 'Okay, it's enough'.

"I can stay more time or less. Less I know will happen depends on the results or if the chairman is not happy with me or our job. That always happens," he added.

"But, if they are happy with me, I can stay that period and I am happy and they are happy, why not longer?"

Guardiola has acknowledged he faces a major test at White Hart Lane tonight as he meets a manager who he considers as one of the best in the world.

Mauricio Pochettino knows how to beat Guardiola's men having famously inspired rock-bottom Espanyol to a stunning win in the Catalan derby at the Nou Camp in 2009.

Guardiola said: "I don't think he (Pochettino) is one of the best managers in England - I think he is one of the best in the world.

"I enjoy watching Tottenham play now and, since last year, he has been doing an amazing job.

"The way they play, he is so aggressive and he has a lot of quality players and the basis of the national team in (Eric) Dier, (Dele) Alli and Harry Kane."

City won their first 10 games in all competitions under Guardiola, before the draw with Celtic.

They have kept only four clean sheets under Guardiola, but he said the scoreline at Celtic Park had given a misleading impression.

"Of course to have a clean sheet is perfect, for the goalkeeper, for the team, but the most important thing is how many chances they (the opposition) create," he said.

City remain without captain Vincent Kompany, midfielder Fabian Delph and playmaker Kevin de Bruyne due to muscular injuries.- Wire Services.

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