FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FA Cup - Third Round - Manchester City v Birmingham City - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - January 10, 2021 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON - Reuters
Football: Run less, win more, says Man City's Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said their recent upturn in form is down to his players grasping how they can dictate games without "running too much".

City struggled for consistency at the start of the season but have turned the tide with a six-game winning run in all competitions - the club's longest of the campaign.

Victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at the Etihad Stadium later on Wednesday will move City four points behind leaders Manchester United having played a game less.

"The only difference is that we run less," said Guardiola.

"We were running too much. When you play football you have to walk - or run much, much less.

"Without the ball you have to run. But with the ball you stay more in the position and let the ball run, not you. And we improved in these games, in these terms."

City's 24 goals in 15 games is the fewest of any of the top nine this season. But since their 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Dec. 15 they have scored 15 in their last six games in all competitions.

"We lost it a bit this season, that was my fault, the message was not clear, but we came back a little bit to the principles," said Guardiola.

"It is normal that after good results and performances the people visualize again that we can do it again in the way we did it in the past. And that is the way we have to continue."

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