Pep Guardiola thinks his side are the victims of their own success and says he accepts that some will view Manchester City not winning the Premier League this season as a failure.

Last season’s treble winners have gone four games without a Premier League win for the first time since 2017 after successive draws against Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham were followed by defeat at Aston Villa on Wednesday.

They can cut the gap on league leaders Liverpool to four points with victory away at Luton, live on Sky Sports, but City’s poor recent run means retaining their Premier League title now looks like an uphill battle.

“Managers are the bosses, they are the main person and they have to find the solution,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.

Sunday 10th December 1:00pm

Kick off 2:00pm

“If you don’t want to accept that job [where] in the big moments, in the victories, you have to share it and the bad moments you take the responsibility – if you are not able to do that then you cannot do the job, you cannot do the job. You have to accept everything like it’s normal.

“I handle it well (adversity after a defeat) because I approach it like the opponent deserves it too, because they have a good manager and good players and they can win too. Sometimes it’s normal to have bad moments or bad results.”

Responding to a suggestion in the print media that City are in transition, Guardiola said: “I would say my teams are not given time to transition.

“In my first season here when we didn’t win anything it was a disaster! Why? People were reading that Pep couldn’t adapt here with his teams.

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Luton head coach Rob Edwards doesn’t seem too impressed by the players returning to the Manchester City squad they will face this weekend.

“And now, if we win the Premier League we’ve done what we had to do. If we don’t it is a big failure and a big success for the other one. Nothing is going to happen if another team doesn’t win the Premier League, it’s just because our standard is so high, so that is the reality.”

Guardiola: Maybe we need challenge of losing games

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Pep Guardiola says his players had the confidence of cats following their previous successes, and suggests they can benefit from this challenging period.

Despite the slump in form, Guardiola believes City could be better off facing the challenge of a winless run to improve results in the long run.

“As a manager, I sometimes need that challenge. I think for everyone in the club, it’s good what we are living. I think it’s necessary to live that,” he said in his pre-match news conference.

“For a long time, [it was about] how good we are, like a cat [being stroked]. And maybe we need to say it’s terrible. It’s all beautiful and now we are not able to win one game.

“Maybe for myself first, I need that challenge to prove I’m a good manager to lift the players and hope for them to overcome that situation. For the players, it’s a good challenge, to say: Aston Villa were miles better than all of us.

“We can say, ‘wow, Aston Villa, were better than us, imagine how good the other ones are’. And the club, the whole organisation could say, ‘we may be out of the Champions League next season. We have to work hard.’

“And I think we need it, after everything that has happened in the last few years, we need it.

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Pep Guardiola says he struggles to see Kalvin Phillips in his Manchester City team.

“Nothing is going to change, the club will still be here. Even if we have a bad season, next season we will be back.

“But still, we are in December, not even finished the first leg and have a lot of games to play. The Champions League [knockout] competition, it’s there. The FA Cup, we play at home against Huddersfield. We have a lot of beautiful things happening, we have to embrace it. We are saying that, all positive and with a smile, let’s embrace it.

“The club we need it and I need it. Weeks ago or a month ago, I said: the club needs a shake, bad results can help you to lift that.”

Watch Luton vs Man City live on Sky Sports’ Super Sunday this weekend from 1pm, kick-off 2pm. The game can also be streamed with a NOW TV pass.

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