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Exclusive: Brian Horton adamant Guardiola still the right man for Man City

Many fans of the last decade will know Manchester City's evolution into a footballing powerhouse. The fans of old will know the days of Maine Road and City's challenges before they became the worldly power we know today.

Brian Horton managed the Citizens from 1993 to 1995, and in his first season he kept City afloat despite languishing 20th on the table at the time of his appointment. Brian details his time with City in his book, 2000 Games: A Life in Football, and the landscape of football was very different in the 90's to today, describing the grounds and conditions he would have to play in.

"Everyone loves to reminisce about Maine Road, I've played there many times. But the new grounds are simply fantastic, I'm actually envious about it," Horton tells Tribalfootball.com.

"The Etihad is a mammoth ground, I've also been out to watch the under 23 and youth squads. The structure and development these days is top drawer. Gosh I would love to be out there today myself.

"The latter stages of Oxford was terrible, and while I was at Brighton we trained at a public park, the middle of a greyhound track. We still trained equally as hard as EPL to training, but if you took a player there from today for a session they'd get a shock to the system!"

Brian's experience in the lower tiers of England's pyramid had him primed for his stint in the Premier League, as his natural ability to lead was second nature to him. What some would see as a daunting challenge, Brian relished the opportunity to ply his trade and prove his worth at the heights of English football.

"It was the start of Sky Football and it truly became massive. The size of the task never concerned me, I'd done 9 years equivalent to what would be the Championship. I didn't change my principles or thoughts, knowing full well it was a top club I approached it the same as I did any other job.

"I had wonderful times there, the fans never shouted me out. When we parted ways, the situation was the new chairman wanted a new man, we weren't relegated or what have you. It's just part of the game."

Still living in the area, Brian says he's still attending games and spending time at the club grounds. Brian's status is still held in high esteem at the club, being acknowledged by current manager Pep Guardiola. The pair shared a short exchange and a photo together during a function held for Brian's birthday.

Being a big fan of Pep and what he has brought to the club, Brian believes he's still the right man for the job going forward despite the hiccups to this disrupted calendar year. Brian also relishes the opportunity to pick apart Pep's managerial mindset and what he brings to the table

"Without a shadow of a doubt he's still the man for the job, all you have to do is look at what he's achieved. He was the first man to take out the English treble, he also won a treble with Barcelona. The style he plays is mind blowing, you've got to hand it to them being an incredible side. He brings in new blood and changes it as he goes along.

"I would love to speak to him more and see the way he coaches, but he's said I'm welcome anytime. It was special to have him wish me a happy birthday. I still live in Manchester, I go to the games and City looks after me and my family. It's a great club and they treat me with respect, and those kinds of people are one of a kind.

"Maybe we'll end up with Lionel Messi next season, but we'll just have to wait and see!"


Two Thousand Games: A Life in Football, out on Pitch Publishing, can be purchased by clicking here.

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Chris Sermeno

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