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Guardiola: Man City can not afford any slip-ups

15 April 2019

De Bruyne said he attempted to defend himself, but the encounter soured him on the club.

"When I was at Chelsea, there was so much in the press about my relationship with Jose Mourinho", De Bruyne wrote for The Players' Tribune. 'But the truth is that I only ever spoke to him twice. But over time, I got closer to Raheem, because our sons were born around the same time, so they would always play together.

De Bruyne, then a 20-year-old, found himself competing with Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Brazilian worldwide Oscar for a spot in the attacking triumvirate behind the striker in Mourinho's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

De Bruyne assisted the first of the attacker's two goals in Sunday's 3-1 win at Crystal Palace and revealed their "strong connection" extends beyond the pitch. 'He said, "One assist".

"We'll have to win every game if we want to make back-to-back titles, we know that, and the players have shown they want to do it".

"So I went to Werder Bremen in 2012, and that season went great".

De Bruyne said: "Mourinho texted me, "You are staying. I want you to be part of this team".

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"I think the next game takes care of itself, Cardiff". I'm in his plans'.

It means City remain two points behind but, crucially, they have a game in hand, and Guardiola believes they can not afford a single slip-up during the run-in.

"I think Jose was a bit disappointed, but to be fair to him, I think he also understood that I absolutely needed to play", he said. "We've played every three days [through] December, January and February, but, even if we are not fresh, we have the personality for the games". So it's going to be different, no?'

'It was so odd. I knew we would produce a good performance here. The next season, Chelsea agreed to loan him to Werder Bremen in Germany before he was eventually told by Jose Mourinho that he would feature at Stamford Bridge at the beginning of the 2013-14 season.

He continued to develop as he was trusted to be a regular starter and his stock accelerated to the point where he was sold for £54m to Manchester City where he has continued to enhance his reputation.

Midfielder De Bruyne and England star Sterling signed for City within just over a month of each other in 2015 and have been at the forefront of the club's successful spell under Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola: Man City can not afford any slip-ups