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Guardiola reveals his time of doubts over tactics

The Spaniard’s zeal for passing and possession with intelligent use of space is almost ideological.

Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola congratulates Raheem Sterling on his 51st career goal. Picture: @ManCity/Twitter.

MANCHESTER - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s commitment to possession football is well established but ahead of Sunday’s derby clash with Manchester United, the former Barcelona coach revealed he had once doubted his philosophy - but only for 48 hours.

The Spaniard’s zeal for passing and possession with intelligent use of space is almost ideological but he said that early in his career he had questioned if it was the right way.

Guardiola began his coaching career in 2007 with Barcelona’s B team, who played in the lower divisions of the Spanish league and it was there that his commitment to ‘total football’ was tested.

“Yes I had doubts a little bit in the beginning,” he told reporters.

“I remember the first three games, I won, I draw and I lost, we played in the fourth division on artificial pitches, and they were so small. On the Monday I thought I have to change it because we cannot play (on those pitches),” he said.

“Arrived Tuesday and I said we have to change because the pitch is so small. But arrived Wednesday and I said ‘no, I am not going to change’ because the alternative to playing the way I believe didn’t convince me,” said Guardiola.

The decision to stick by his principles paid off for the Spaniard.

“It was so good because at the end of the season, we were champions and promoted and at that moment I said - if we were able to win quite good and play quite good football, if you can do that on small pitch, artificial pitch, then I can do that at a higher level with better pitches, better players,” he said with a grin.

Guardiola’s almost dogmatic belief in the “right way” of playing was questioned last season as City struggled to adjust to the former Barca and Bayern Munich coach’s demands.

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