Guardiola has given his first press conference since extending his contract by one more season and used the occasion to speak about motivation. “The day I lose my passion and strength, I’ll leave” he said.
Game with Sporting
Talk of Guardiola’s new contract took up so much time that very little was said about
Saturday’s game in Gijón. “It’s always hard after international matches, and
especially when it’s 3 days and not 4.” And he expects a tough game against the side
coached by Preciado: “Barral is playing well and has good players behind him, like Diego
Castro and De las Cuevas, who uses space well”. And he also knows what kind of atmosphere to
expect at El Molinón, which he compares to what you get at San Mamés. “They are much stronger
at home than away” he added.
Guardiola said he has yet to decide on his starting eleven against Gijón, but did reveal that
he is worried about the fitness of one of his players, although he refused to mention any names.
All will be revealed on Saturday.
Thankfully, there are at least 17 months to go before that can happen. “I’d like to
thank the club for their trust in me. We will try to work as hard as possible and make the maximum
effort to keep the fans happy. That has to be our objective to get good results”, he said
three days after making the announcement that he’s staying.
One year more, and then?
Guardiola obviously feels more comfortable now that his contractual
issues have been settled. He’s staying for one year more, but will he stay any longer than
that? “I can see myself here for one more year … then we’ll see” he said.
“What I want to do is get the best out of this team. Having reached the cup final and doing
so well in the league has shown me that there is no reason not to stay here for another
year.” He added that he didn’t have to think too much about his decision, and that he
is still making the same demands of himself. “I don’t want to rest on my laurels. There
is no place like this, but we have to keep winning”.
Despite just announcing that he is staying, there were still questions
about when he plans to leave the club. Guardiola explained why he would consider leaving.
“When I feel I’m not needed, and don’t have the passion and strength that I have
now, that’s when I‘ll feel enough is enough. Then I’d go. There are two ways of
leaving. When you aren’t winning and get sacked or when you leave naturally, knowing that the
right time has come. Everything has to end at some point”. He added that “when you have
been here for four years [which is how long he will have been in the post in June 2012], then you
are nearer to the end than the start”.
Guardiola also spoke about one of his injured players, Carles Puyol (the other being Jeffren)
and the game in Gijón. “He’s doing well, but if you ask him to make an extra effort,
he’ll get hurt again. He is improving, but he’s not yet at that stage where he can keep
going and tolerate too much effort. But he is heading in the right direction.”