Guardiola responds to Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou saying he ‘just copies Pep’

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola

Manchester City host Spurs at the Etihad on Sunday (Picture: Getty Images)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has laughed off Ange Postecoglou’s quip that he ‘just copies Pep’ and says he has been enormously impressed by the Australian’s impact at Tottenham.

The injury-hit north Londoners travel to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday off the back of three straight defeats, a run of losses that has seen them slip down the Premier League table from top spot to fifth.

But Postecoglou has continued to get his side playing attacking, front-foot football, with Spurs rather unlucky to lose against Aston Villa last time out after creating a host of excellent chances, hitting the post twice and netting three offside goals.

One of the hallmarks of the team has been his incredibly adventurous full-backs, who tuck inside and play high up the pitch – a tactic Gary Neville actually criticised earlier in the campaign, suggesting he had lifted it from Guardiola’s City side.

An appearance on Sky Sports’ Friday Night Football at the backend of October saw Postecoglou interviewed by Neville and Jamie Carragher, with the latter bringing up his colleague’s comment by saying, ‘At the moment, you’re just copying Pep aren’t ya?’

The Aussie found the funny side, laughing as he replied: ‘Yeah, I just study one game a week and see what he [Guardiola] is doing and go from there!’

But Guardiola – who often uses centre-backs at full-back now – believes Postecoglou is doing something completely unique with his full-backs, playing them higher than he ever dared, and is full of praise for the job the Tottenham manager is doing.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Ange Postecoglou

Guardiola and Postecoglou faced off once before in pre-season (Picture: Getty)

Asked about Postecoglou’s quip, and whether he sees his own ideas in the way Tottenham play, Guardiola replied: ‘It was a joke! I am not the only person when I was born to become a manager that played a high line! [His style] belongs absolutely to him.

‘I would say, yes, sometimes my full-backs go inside, but their full-backs go to the pockets! They are attacking midfielders. I’ve never seen that before. I’ve never used that, so it belongs absolutely to him.’

On Postecoglou’s immediate impact at Spurs, the Spaniard continued: ‘He is already there, in a short time. Even in the games they didn’t win lately. I am impressed at many things they do – the chances they create, aggression in all departments.

‘He came here with nothing and within a few months already you can recognise Spurs as his team.

‘Every team that plays with desire and determination comes from the manager. He has done this in the past in Japan and in Glasgow with Celtic.

‘He makes football a better place – a person like Ange. I enjoy watching them play and the approach they have. The impact he has made has been quick and really good.’

On whether he expects a lot of goals and entertainment from two attacking teams on Sunday, Guardiola added: ‘Yeah, I encourage the fans to come to the stadium because they will have fun!’

MORE : Tottenham hit by devastating Rodrigo Bentancur injury after Matty Cash tackle

MORE : Tottenham to rival Manchester United for £39m-rated centre-back in January transfer window

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

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