Pep Guardiola claims his Manchester City squad are “on fire” in training as they look to get back to winning ways against Southampton on Wednesday.
The Premier League leaders saw their record 21-game winning streak ended as they were beaten by rivals Manchester United in Sunday’s derby at the Etihad Stadium.
Asked about the mood in the camp since the weekend, City manager Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference: “A mix of disappointment and sadness but, at the same time, the second day a bit better and today completely on fire to try to do a good game tomorrow.
“It’s a normal process when you lose the games. The reaction is common.
“I prefer if they were a bit, ‘OK we lost the game’ but I think everyone realises how difficult it is to win games, to do good runs. We did it.
“Now (we are) just thinking of the next one. The Premier league is so complicated, so difficult.
“It is good to realise what they have done and there is still a lot of work to do to arrive in the last games to be in contention to win the Premier League.”
Guardiola feels it is important the derby defeat is now shut out of the mind – an attitude he takes after every fixture regardless of result.
He said: “Every game is forgotten, what we have done the day before, even when we win. When we lose it is the same.
“We are not going to be depressed if the next games are not good. It’s football, all around the world you lose games.
“The non-normal situation is what we have done. This is the remarkable thing.”
Guardiola dismissed a suggestion his side should brush off Southampton convincingly given Saints’ recent poor form and the fact they have lost two games 9-0 in the past two seasons.
“We will score 18 – 18-0, this will be the result,” said Guardiola sarcastically.
“What a question! They (conceded) nine when they played 88 minutes 10 against 11.
“Do you think this is a joke? We are going to score nine goals or 18? Be serious.
“We are just trying to win the game. It would be an incredible success for us. Win the game, that’s all.”
City still have an 11-point lead over United at the top of the table but Guardiola has warned the job is still far from done and their rivals are still in with a chance.
He said: “When the option is open everything can happen in football. Nobody thought we could win 21 in a row. Anything can happen. United can do it.
“We have 10 games left and we have to win six or seven games to be champions mathematically. We’re going to try to win the first one tomorrow.”
Guardiola routinely makes changes and the likes of Phil Foden and Sergio Aguero could be in contention for starting roles at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
He said: “Maybe, I will decide tomorrow. I have an idea in general of the guys who will play but I have a few doubts.”
Asked if these were injury doubts, Guardiola said: “No, everybody is OK.”