Pep Guardiola has all but ruled out Manchester City claiming a successive treble by stating it is “99.99%” certain they cannot achieve what would be an unprecedented feat in Europe.
In claiming the title, FA Cup and Champions League last term, Guardiola’s side joined Manchester United’s 1998-99 team as the only English treble winners. With City second in the Premier League, in the fifth round of the Cup and in the Champions League last 16, they have a chance of a repeat but Guardiola laughed off the prospect.
“Yeah, seven-tuple [City will do it seven times],” he said. “It’s a fairytale. It’s more complicated than that. Try to beat Everton [on Saturday] and we will see what happens. We have 99.99% possibility that we are not going to win the treble because it has never been done.
“So the chances to do it again are like this. If it was easy, another team – United at that time – would do it again. What I like is the satisfaction of the celebration at Luton Town when we were in trouble [winning 2-1 after being behind in December] or beating Brentford [3-1 last week] when we didn’t last season.
“The players know how difficult it is and how difficult it will be. What I like is that we are still there and hopefully we arrive in March and April with the same feeling to fight for the titles in May. This is the target.”
Jack Grealish has not started the past four games. Guardiola said the England international was searching for his optimum form. “He’s doing the steps to get to his best level and is competing with players at a high level. This is the only reason why. He has to get back where he was last season.”
Guardiola was asked what Grealish needed to do to improve. “[Be] himself,” the manager said. “I’m always pleased with my players. It’s not a big problem – the opposite. Now he is making steps to get his best and that’s all. We need him, we need everyone and we need Jack. I am looking forward to him being back to his best and giving him minutes.“