Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola backed his players to bounce back from their defeat against Norwich by using a callback to a previous insult he received.
Man City lost 3-2 to Norwich on Saturday after a series of defensive errors cost them the three points.
It was City’s first loss of the season, and meant that they lost ground on league leaders Liverpool.
The Reds are now five points clear of the reigning champions after five games, thanks to free-scoring striker Teemu Pukki’s winner at Carrow Road.
With 33 games remaining in the season, the title race is still wide open, and Guardiola was keen to ensure that his players’ morale doesn’t drop.
The boss referenced the way he was perceived by fans in his first year in English football as proof that these things take time.
During his first season, Guardiola failed to win a trophy for City, as they finished third in the league and were knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16.
The Spaniard was dubbed ‘Fraudiola’ by a pool of fans, as he appeared to be struggling to implement his footballing style on the Citizens.
And after the defeat to Norwich, he admitted that he was grateful to his players for working through that slump.
“They gave me all the prestige I have in England, when the first season when it was Fraud Guardiola, Fraudiola,” he said.
“This kind of game here in England, it’s not possible to play because you need to have tackles and you have to play like that.
“These players gave me the prestige that I have.
“And now all around the world people say how good a manager I am – it’s for them, not for me.”
Man City take on Shaktar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday.