Pep Guardiola to demand improved concentration from his Manchester City side ahead of United derby after a string of costly defensive errors in recent key games
- Manchester City face Manchester United in key derby clash on Saturday evening
- Pep Guardiola is aware of his side failing to beat rivals them in recent games
- City have been beaten by Tottenham and Leicester and drawn with Liverpool
- He is now keen to cut out defensive lapses ahead of Old Trafford test
Pep Guardiola will warn his Manchester City stars that concentration outweighs quality at Old Trafford on Saturday after a string of individual mistakes have cost them in big matches.
Guardiola also made his frustration at obvious failings in both boxes clear after they drew 1-1 with title rivals Liverpool last month.
Pep Guardiola is to demand more concentration from his Manchester City side this weekend
City are expected to dominate possession at Manchester United and Guardiola is mindful that his players must retain focus against a team designed to pounce on errors.
The Catalan has won three of his four Premier League visits to United, although lost there in March after two uncharacteristic blunders by goalkeeper Ederson.
Aymeric Laporte was heavily involved in Tottenham’s first goal on November 25. The centre half sat out the next four matches, only returning for Wednesday’s dead-rubber against Marseille.
Aymeric Laporte (top) lost his place in the City defence after a costly error against Tottenham
John Stones (left) has since come into the side and impressed in the centre of defence
John Stones has flourished in Laporte’s absence, however, with Guardiola encouraged by additional defensive solidity in recent games.
City have not conceded a goal in five matches since their 2-0 reverse at the hands of Jose Mourinho’s Spurs.
United are likely to line up in a similar fashion to their old boss and City’s players will have the need for mental endurance drummed into them beforehand. They currently lie six points behind the Premier League leaders with a game in hand.