After accepting defeat in the Premier League title race, Pep Guardiola says Manchester City are now preparing for next season.
Pep Guardiola indicated Manchester City are already focusing on next season after accepting there is no longer a title race in the Premier League.
Guardiola claimed his 100th league win as City boss on Sunday, as goals from Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne secured a 2-0 triumph over resilient Sheffield United.
The win took City back to within a point of Leicester City, though they are still 14 behind runaway leaders Liverpool, who overcame Wolves 1-0 at Anfield.
With the gap so large, Guardiola has accepted City are no longer realistic contenders for the title, which they have won for the last two seasons, and instead said the main focus is on ensuring they improve ahead of the 2020-21 season while targeting success in the cup competitions.
"No. It's unrealistic to think about that," Guardiola said in a news conference when asked if Liverpool could be caught.
His side were swiftly back in action after a 3-2 defeat to Wolves on Friday, meaning they had under 48 hours between the two matches.
Guardiola said: "A team which has the numbers of Liverpool, why should we think about that? It's just preparing, play good and better to be as close to the top of the league as we can, prepare for the knockout competitions and for the next season.
"Every game helps us to improve for next season. Hopefully we can do better.
"The motivation is to improve because when we improve we win games and that is the way to live better. That is the best motivation for all of us. Even in the past.
"Now we recover for three days, thank you for three days to recover, and prepare for the next game against Everton. That is what you have to do."
Despite accepting the title race is all but over, Guardiola insists it should not take anything away from what his City squad have achieved.
"The fans can say or do whatever they want but they cannot deny that the team in the last three years was incredible in every single competition," he added.
"Football you can lose or you can win. We have injuries in very important positions but always we tried, even in the games we lost.
"It was a tough game especially because of the opponent, because of the 48 hours, and two hours after the Wolves game on the bus back.
"It's not the best for recovery against one of the most physical teams in the Premier League and we won it, so full compliments to the team."