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Man City manager Pep Guardiola says he's still learning despite success

ESPN's Manchester City correspondent Jonathan Smith shares his view on a season where Manchester City finished champions 19 points ahead of Manchester United.
ESPN's Manchester City correspondent Jonathan Smith discusses what the club need to do to defend the Premier League title.

Manchester City's Pep Guardiola says he is still trying to improve as a coach after nine years in management.

The Catalan, who guided his side to the Premier League title with a record 100 points, has just signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2021.

Guardiola finished his first season at the Etihad Stadium but says he has continued to learn since leaving Barcelona in 2012 and taking over at Bayern Munich a year later.

"There is always more [as a coach]. You may think there isn't -- the players you coach are responsible for new ways of thinking and insights," he told ESPN Brazil.

"Sometimes you discover things you previously didn't know, maybe pairing these two players will give you a good midfield movement, something like that.

"When I left Barcelona, I thought that my space to revolutionise was ended, but no. We have seen that there is always a way to do new things, especially because you have different players. In Germany, I learned about counter-attacks and how important they are. Also about how much organised [football is in the] Bundesliga. The Germans are not only about running and running, but also about playing good football. I was very happy in Germany, especially in Munich.

"Finally in England I found a very tough league, many fixtures, weather conditions that affect the game, there is a lot of contact, a lot of permissiveness from the referees. It is a very intense league and we were able to control it all season long."

Pep Guardiola is proud of what he's accomplished so far at Manchester City but accepts he can still get better.
Pep Guardiola is proud of what he's accomplished so far at Manchester City but accepts he can still get better.

Guardiola failed to win a trophy in his first season at City -- the first time in his managerial career that he ended a campaign without silverware.

City's attacking philosophy drew some criticism from pundits, yet Guardiola refused to change his style and he admitted to being concerned whether it would bring success.

"Last season has helped us to understand a lot of things so that we apply this season," said Guardiola. "People usually believe that coaches, no matter who they are, arrive at a club and things start working fine. And it is not like that. Sometimes it goes faster, but sometimes it doesn't.

"Sometimes I thought I won't accomplish the same as always. But I have never doubt on how to do it, never. I am very clear and psychologically strong about it. From where I want to play, how I want to play, with who I want to play with and how we are doing it.

"If you don't succeed, you go home and that's it. No problem."

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.

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