Guardiola "I apologize to Phillips, and we may not qualify for the Champions League"

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Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, spoke about the team's recent poor results before the upcoming match against Luton Town on Sunday in the 16th round of the English Premier League.

In the press conference, the Spanish coach stated: "Losing to Aston Villa is a possibility. I didn't see anything bad in my team but rather saw good things in the opponent. Criticism exists, and that's normal, and we accept it."

He added: "We will try to prove the critics wrong and get back to winning games, especially as Luton Town poses a challenge, and prominent teams like Arsenal and Liverpool struggled to secure victories against them."

"We are not the best and lack creativity," Guardiola admitted.

Regarding the former player Rod Edwards describing Manchester City as the best team in the world, Pep said: "Thanks for those words, but we are not the best team in the world as long as we don't achieve results. When you win, you are the best in the world, and when you fail to do so, there is a crisis."

Concerning the team's struggles due to the absence of Rodri, Guardiola said: "Rodri is definitely an important player, but it would be too simplistic to justify our performance by the absence of one player. Perhaps we lack consistency in recent matches, and we miss creativity."

Regarding the possibility of Kevin De Bruyne participating in the Club World Cup, the Manchester City coach stated: "It's too early for that. He is currently on the field running. Kevin is an important player, and unfortunately, he got injured. We don't want to put pressure on him."

Guardiola emphasized: "Do you know how much we suffered last season? We were 8 or 9 points behind Arsenal with all our injuries. Before the Wolves match this season, we were one game away from achieving the best start in Premier League history."

"I want this challenge," he continued. "We were at the top before facing Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham. I think it's good for everyone in the club to experience what we are going through now. It's important to live in this situation, and it's about the quality we have. In the past, we didn't lose games, and now we can't win."

Guardiola concluded: "I want this challenge to prove that I am a good coach, and it's good for the players in general. Aston Villa was miles better than us in the last confrontation, and now maybe we won't qualify for the Champions League next season."

He also touched upon the future of Calvin Phillips, saying: "I feel regret for my decisions regarding him, and I regret the minutes I didn't give him. If he's the type of player who creates a buzz, maybe I didn't care about him, but for his way of dealing with players, I care about him."