Pep Guardiola insists he has not even thought about the wider significance of Manchester City’s current unbeaten run.
City have moved into strong Premier League title contention on the back of eight games without defeat, six of which have been victories.
In a season presenting more difficulties than most, it has been a strong statement of intent by Guardiola’s side, but the City manager claims he does not think about such things.
“When we have had incredible runs I have never thought about how many wins or how many marathons we have to do to win something,” said Guardiola, whose team host Crystal Palace on Sunday evening.
“When we won 18 games in a row in the season we got 100 points, after the win in the second game we said, ‘OK, let’s try to win the next one’. Then the next one, then after that the next one.
“I never expect my players to win a lot of games. I want to win the next one, and the next one is Crystal Palace.
“This is the best way. When you dream you want to be top of the league, you want to be in a better position when you don’t play good, you are not going to achieve it.
“I don’t care how many games we are able to win or not win in a row – absolutely zero. It is just Crystal Palace – Zaha, Eze, Benteke, Roy Hodgson, Milivojevic.”
Similarly, Guardiola says he has not thought about what result he might prefer from the top-of-the-table clash between rivals Liverpool and Manchester United which takes place before City’s game on Sunday.
He said: “Crystal Palace – it’s the only thing I want, I want to beat them. The rest, honestly, I don’t care. We will play knowing the result because they play earlier than us, but I don’t know.
“The last two seasons against Crystal Palace at home we got one point. That’s why the only concern I have is winning against Crystal Palace.”
City are again without striker Sergio Aguero, who continues to isolate as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. Defenders Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake are out with muscular problems.