Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants his side to show they can cope with the demands of European and domestic competitions by beating Watford in the Premier League on Saturday. City kicked off their Champions League campaign with an impressive 4-0 victory at Dutch side Feyenoord on Wednesday, four days after their 5-0 thrashing of Liverpool in the league.
Last season, however, City won only two of the six league games they played following a European group stage match and Guardiola wants them to show an improvement.
“It will be a demanding game, especially coming just three days later,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday.
“With the trip back to Manchester, now travelling to London, there’s not too many hours for regeneration.
“We have to handle that if we want to become a good team in the next years. We have to handle these situations, when one team have one week to prepare and we don’t have the time. In these situations we have to try to win.”
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss said he was particularly impressed with Watford’s unbeaten start to the league campaign under new manager Marco Silva.
The Hornets have picked up victories on the road at Bournemouth and Southampton but they are still searching for their first league win at home this season.
“Watford are just two points behind us, they made an amazing start. They didn’t lose one game,” said Guardiola.
“I was so impressed with their performance against Southampton. They completely dominated the game. They are so physical with the throw-ins and set-pieces and have quality up front.”
Guardiola said captain Vincent Kompany is back in training following a calf injury but is unlikely to feature at Vicarage Road.
The manager also said midfielder Yaya Toure remains in his plans for the season despite being left out of the squad for the past two games.
“I need him, the team needs him. He was so important last season and he’ll be so important this season,” Guardiola added.