Guardiola: Man City are not low on confidence

Pep Guardiola defends persisting with Fernandinho in Manchester City defence

Man City must tighten up at the back, says Guardiola

City manager Pep Guardiola yesterday admitted that Turf Moor would be "a hard place to go", warning his flagging side, who are 11 points behind leaders Liverpool who are on 40, to expect an aerial bombardment.

"We had 26 shots, not all on target, at Newcastle". We scored the first goal after one minute and after, forgot to attack.

Summer signing Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan have been chosen over three-time Premier League victor Fernandinho in midfield by the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss.

Manchester City star Aymeric Laporte is hoping to be back in action within six to eight weeks, after a lengthy spell on the touchline.

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Guardiola says it is pointless for his team to worry about the gap at the top of the table, placing a focus on taking each game as it comes in order to stay in the title picture for as long as possible.

The exchange began when a reporter asked why he hasn't been playing Stones and Otamendi together, to which he responded: "Because I like Dino [Fernandinho] in that position". That is why he plays.

Pressed on why he continues to choose a midfielder in defence, Guardiola responded: "I prefer [Ilkay] Gundogan and Rodri in midfield".

City had 10 points drifting from Liverpool last season before they successfully chased them to win their third consecutive title and Laporte remains convinced that they can do this again, something that Guardiola agrees with.

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The Argentine striker will miss Tuesday's clash and also Saturday's visit of neighbours Manchester United, Guardiola confirmed at his pre-match press conference on Monday. We need to be very open in how we approach the negative things and also the positive things we did today and see where we can improve.

Pep Guardiola is adamant the Manchester City players have not been affected by a poor run of just one victory in five games in all competitions. "They have to believe to win tomorrow", he said. "That is the fact".

"We have to make sure that we work a lot and don't lose any more games".

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However, facing Burnley at Turf Moor should prove a tough test for most sides in the English top-flight.

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