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17-Jun-2020, 04:33 am

Guardiola backs new assistant Lillo to help get Manchester City back to level of title-winning seasons

Pep Guardiola Juanma Lillo Manchester City GFX

Pep Guardiola believes new assistant coach Juanma Lillo is exactly what he needs to help Manchester City back to their form of the last two years.

The City manager has been without an assistant since Mikel Arteta left for Arsenal in December and the Gunners boss will return for the first time on Wednesday night as the Premier League restarts following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Much-travelled coach Lillo will be on the City bench for the first after he was appointed earlier this month, and Guardiola believes he will bring fresh ideas after a disappointing season that has seen them fall behind leaders Liverpool.

"When Mikel decided to go to London to be Arsenal manager, I felt I needed someone to help us with this amount of games but I wanted to have time to take the right decisions," the City boss told a virtual news conference.

"I discussed it with football director Txiki Begiristain, with friends, about the solution. I decided on Juanma because I know him and what I need. I think he is the right person to help us, to understand the game better, the mythology of the training sessions.

"I have known him for a long time ago, like he helped me understand the way he looks at it, and that’s why he is going to come here. I’m pretty sure he is going to help me and help us sustain the level we had in the last years."

The 54-year-old has signed a one-year contract and Guardiola has the same length of time remaining on his own deal. He said there has been no talks about an extension during the three-month break from football in England.

"We are going to finish this season. We have two months and then we have time to talk about this," he said. "Like I said since the first day, how delighted I am here, how I like to do my job, how comfortable I am. I don’t have any complaints about what the club offer me from day one. About extend or not, we will see, we have time."

One player who will be staying slightly longer is David Silva, with Guardiola confirming the midfielder will sign a short-term extension until the end of the season.

The Spaniard will definitely leave before the new campaign and Guardiola hopes that in the future the supporters will get the opportunity to say farewell to a player that many view as the greatest in the club's history after his 10 years of success at the Etihad Stadium.

"He will stay until the end of the season and yes it is unfortunate that he is going to finish his last games here without people," Guardiola added. "But he is coming back and hopefully he can have the big farewell with people.

"Always the clubs become a big club when they make the big gestures to these players for what they have done for more than one decade. It was Vincent Kompany, it was Joe Hart, Yaya Toure, Pablo Zabaleta.I would say more, sorry for the guys I forget, but they make the club what it is.

"The situation is what it is. No one wants it. The club will make an agreement with David and do what they have to do."

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