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Man City aim to remain top vs. Palace

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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Pep Guardiola feels supported by Man City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he has the backing of club chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak despite his side's Champions League exit to Monaco in the round-of-16.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss saw his City squad lose by the away goals rule on Wednesday after a 6-6 aggregate scoreline, despite carrying a 5-3 advantage into the second leg.

But Guardiola -- in his first season at the Etihad -- insists he has al-Mubarak's full confidence going forward.

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"I received a text message from him [al-Mubarak] the day after [Monaco]," Guardiola told English newspapers ahead of City's Premier League clash against Liverpool.

Asked about the chairman's reaction, Guardiola responded: "What do you believe? He prefers to win the Champions League, he was not there [at the game] but he is always close [to me]. A few times in my career I felt [this] with Joan Laporta, my old [Barcelona] president.

"So I always feel he [al-Mubarak] is always there, so close to the team, so close to me, but he knows and I know better than him how it works when that result happens. Always we are going to take a decision but I always feel in the good moments and bad moments, especially in the bad moments, [that support]. I saw his reaction [and] I am really impressed. I appreciate that a lot."

Guardiola added that he's met with City owner Sheikh Mansour about the future of the club.

Pep Guardiola's side crashed out of the Champions League on Wednesday.

"I met the big boss Sheikh Mansour [the City owner] in Abu Dhabi and I know the plan, it's a team that took the next step seven years ago and we are thinking about getting better," Guardiola said.

"I want to be involved in that as much as possible and to help my team to make the next step and I have more power than ever in my life as a manager. For me, it's a big challenge and I want to deal with that, I want to see myself if I am able to do that. That is my impression."

And Guardiola believes it will still take some time to make City one of the elite teams in Europe.

"In terms of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, when you talk about these kind of teams, it's a big disaster when they don't win. I knew that," he said. "Here I didn't think that, but it is a big disaster when you don't win as well. It will take more time to put the team that I want.

"In the other clubs for many other reasons it was little bit closer, here it will take more time.

"It's the first time in my career as a manager when I feel that now is the moment you have to see yourself like a manager. That's the first time. For the other ones, I was so lucky managing and training big clubs. Now is the first time I want to help the team so people say 'Wow, Pep could do that again at a team in England and at Manchester City'. I love this club and want to be here for a long, long time."

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