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Bilic: Guardiola knew the Premier League ‘is never easy’

Sir Slaven heaped praise for Mr. Pep under Pressure

West Ham United Training and Press Conference Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images

Slaven Bilic issued his major respect for Manchester City manager Thursday afternoon, as West Ham United prepare for this season’s FA Cup opening third round clash at home in the London Stadium.

Bilic praised the superstar manager, who has come under scrutiny after Premier League title favorites City have fallen at least two wins behind current leaders Chelsea in the standings.

“He knew the intensity of the English league, he was well prepared for a difficult season,” the West Ham manager said. “He didn’t expect anything less that he is getting or has faced so far. But it is never easy in any league, especially here. They are not struggling but for their standards, to be seven points from the top is probably not what they expected. But in the beginning, they said they had a long term plan with Guardiola.”

Bilic is fully aware with how City will bring their strongest side to the capital, as a possible treble for the Catalan manager in his first season in England is still on the cards.

“They will put out a very strong team because it is a big chance for them to get a trophy,” he said. “Maybe after the great start they made, maybe some fans, pundits or football people expected them to cruise in the league, especially with Guardiola, especially after that start.”

“They had a brilliant start to the season and then they slowed down a little bit. All the big teams hit form like Chelsea. This is a big game for us and big game for them, it is the FA Cup and it is big for the spectators and the fans.”