Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has sympathised with Manchester United over the club’s struggles since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

Manchester United are approaching 11 years since the club’s last Premier League title, won during Ferguson’s final season in charge in 2012/13.

The Scot became the most successful manager in English football history during his time at Old Trafford, winning 38 trophies in total and leading the side to 13 Premier League titles.

United have struggled in the decade since his exit and are on to their fifth permanent manager since Ferguson’s farewell.

Ahead of this weekend’s Manchester Derby at the Etihad, Guardiola said it was always going to be difficult for incoming coaches to cope with the pressure of replacing Ferguson.

“In the big clubs you have to win,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference.

“It is not easy for United, who have come through an incredibly successful period with Sir Alex [Ferguson]. To cope with that is not easy. Sometimes I can understand it. With the big clubs, before they had more patience with their managers but today everyone has a lot of pressure. But I don’t know the reason why, as I’m not there.”

Manchester City remain on course to defend their treble this season and March is shaping as a pivotal month, with huge fixtures on the horizon in the Premier League, FA Cup and Europe.

“After United, we get the chance to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League,” Guardiola said.

“The weekend after we have Anfield, and then before the international break we have Newcastle and the chance to reach a semi-final of the FA Cup.”

“We work, so far, since I arrived here, to live these kinds of moments. So, step one at a time, United here, two days to prepare for the game and we try to do our best.”

Read – Guardiola sets sight on Manchester City dynasty

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