Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola refused to be drawn into a war of words with old foe Jose Mourinho at his first press conference on Friday.
Mourinho had suggested earlier in the week at his first press conference as Manchester United boss that it would be a mistake to focus on his rivalry with the Spaniard.
That was a sentiment that was echoed by Guardiola, who is looking forward to a successful first season in charge at the Etihad and not merely getting the better of the former Real Madrid boss.
“I think Jose said pretty well that it is not about him or me, so we are not focusing on each other,” Guardiola told the media.
“From what I saw from a distance is that it is so difficult to win games, I will have to prove myself.
“We’ve played many times against each other, but I can say as a coach the big coaches help me to reach another level. Playing him, Jurgen Klopp in Germany, they’ve made me better. All the managers around the world want to win and here it’s no different.”
It remains to be seen whether or not the pressure of the competitiveness in the Premier League brings the best out of the 45-year-old next year, as he will be under scrutiny to deliver immediate results at City in what many believe is the toughest test of his career thus far.
Having already brought in Nolito and Ilkay Gundogan among others, it is expected that Guardiola will continue to bolster his squad between now and the start of the season.
Given what he expects from his team in terms of style of play and system, he’ll certainly need a few more new faces, although he will also have a task of developing the younger talents at the club to ensure that there is a mix of youth and experience in his squad moving forward.
Meanwhile, as for the Guardiola-Mourinho rivalry, they will cross paths for the first time in England in the first Manchester derby of the season on September 10.
However, they will rekindle their rivalry earlier than that as they are scheduled to face off in the International Champions Cup on July 25.
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) July 8, 2016