Pep Guardiola: my Manchester City reign will be a failure if we do not win the Champions League

Spanish manager admits his time at club will be judged by success in Europe – and insists he has no concerns about out-of-touch attacker Sterling

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Pep Guardiola has admitted that he will be regarded as a failure at Manchester City if he does not win the Champions League.

Guardiola has won five major trophies since taking charge at the Etihad Stadium in 2016, including two Premier League titles.

As yet, however, they have been unable to transfer their domestic dominance onto the European stage.

City have not yet progressed beyond the quarter-finals under Guardiola, getting knocked out by Monaco, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in the Spaniard's last three campaigns.

Guardiola won the competition twice at Barcelona but could not repeat that at Bayern Munich. His tenure at the German club was consequently considered a disappointment in some quarters, despite him winning three successive Bundesliga crowns.

He said: "We will, of course, not just be judged on the way we play but the titles we win. That is the truth. It is as simple as that.

"Last year was an extraordinary one for us but people say, 'But you didn't win the Champions League'.

"That is why I will be judged, if we don't win it in my final period here, that I will be a failure here. I know that.

"But I enjoy working with my players and my players still win a lot of games. Winning a certain way is what helps you to win the titles and we believe we can play that way. We will see at the end."

City return to Spurs this weekend for the first time since their defeat in last season's quarter-final first leg.

Spurs are now under the charge of Guardiola's old rival Jose Mourinho, with the Portuguese having taken over from the sacked Mauricio Pochettino last November.

Guardiola expects to face a team that shows traits of both managers in Sunday's Premier League contest.

He said: "They are quite different but there are similarities. Their teams are both quite aggressive. I saw Tottenham at Southampton and they were alive. They conceded a last-minute goal but I saw a team that is there.

"Every manager has different ideas, both are incredible managers. Mauricio Pochettino was there five or six years while Mourinho has been there just months, so all managers need time to make our teams play the way we want."

Guardiola, meanwhile, has said he is not concerned by a dip in form for England attacker Raheem Sterling in recent weeks.

Sterling has not scored in six appearances this year, with his last goals coming in City's 3-2 defeat by Wolves on December 27.

Last season's football writers' player of the year in England had a great chance to break that duck as City progressed to the League Cup final against Manchester United on Wednesday, but he shot over the bar after rounding goalkeeper David de Gea.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City shoots and misses during the Carabao Cup Semi Final match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on January 29, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

However, Guardiola believes Sterling is still making a contribution with his all-round game.

"Raheem defended incredibly well against [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka in the last game and he had the clearest chances that no other player can create for himself and unfortunately he could not score a goal," said the Catalan.

"But he was there and so I am more than delighted with the performance he made against United.

"A month ago, people were talking about his statistics, the goals, the assists, but I always said that I was not just judging Raheem on those points. It was important, but not the only one."

Sterling has already scored 24 goals in 39 games this season for City and England, but he has slowed down after a flying start in which he had 17 by the end of October.

He has only missed two of City's 24 Premier League games and so far escaped injury, but Guardiola has no plans to take him out of the firing line.

"I don't think he needs a rest," said Guardiola. "He is one of the guys who can recover quickest that I have ever met in my career.

"He is incredible, he could play every two days and of course when he plays regularly, the better he feels, but all the players feel that."