Pep Guardiola’s biggest challenge this season is to avoid complacency sinking in as Manchester City attempt to defend the Treble, says Rio Ferdinand.
The City manager challenged his players by saying they “haven’t done anything special yet” ahead of their UEFA Champions League defence beginning against Crvena Zvezda on Tuesday.
Ferdinand, who won European and domestic silverware aplenty during his playing days at Manchester United, underlined the importance of keeping the squad motivated.
“The biggest fear for any player or manager is complacency – getting too used to the idea of winning,” Ferdinand said on TNT Sports’ Champions League coverage.
“This club now are used to winning, they’re used to competing for all the biggest trophies.
“You’ve got to keep that hunger within the dressing room.
“This team won the Treble last year – how’s the manager going to keep this team hungry?”
Guardiola’s comments ahead of the European campaign starting caused a stir, with City’s historic Treble success still fresh in the memory.
But Ferdinand believes it was done very intentionally as a way of laying the gauntlet to his players to deliver another memorable campaign.
“You saw Pep in his press conference talking about how ‘we’ve done nothing really’ – he’s just won the Treble,” Ferdinand said.
“Who’s he talking to? Who’s he aiming that to?
“The only people he’s aiming that to, it’s not the fans or anyone else – it’s the players. Stay sharp.”
City’s Premier League title defence has started faultlessly, winning five games from five to sit top of the standings.
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