The reigning champions need a win to secure another title and the coach feels they deserve to be at the top of the table
Pep Guardiola says he wants his Manchester City players to be “nervous” as they look to seal the Premier League title on the last day of the season.
City are on the verge of a second consecutive title triumph as they approach Sunday’s trip to Brighton holding a one-point lead over challengers Liverpool, who are at home to Wolves.
As the tension builds ahead of the title decider, Guardiola says his players will benefit from the expectation weighing on them.
“There’s pressure but that’s nice,” the 48-year-old told Sky Sports. “We are playing for something unique, to win the Premier League.
“It is difficult to win once in a lifetime, imagine two. The players have to feel the pressure, to be nervous, to know it will be difficult. But when that happens and it works, it’s nicer.”
Guardiola’s team have clawed their way back from being 13 points behind Liverpool at the end of 2018 to lead the table, having won all but one game since the turn of the year.
And the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach says the reigning champions are worthy of their place at the top after forcing their way back into the race.
“When we were three points behind Liverpool, people were saying that chasing them was better,” he said. “No, it was better to be leading because it is in your hands.
“We have won the last 13 games so we deserve to be in this position. And we are going to defend it.”
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With one game left to go, the coach wants his side to go all out to ensure they take home the trophy when they line up against a Brighton side already certain to stay up this term.
“Go out there, be aggressive, be focused in all departments, and try to score as many goals as possible,” he added.
“For a few weeks it has been in our hands. That’s what we wanted.”