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Nathan Ake admits Pep Guardiola has given Man City players a ‘wake up’ call

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Manchester City defender Nathan Ake has admitted that manager Pep Guardiola was ‘probably right’ with his recent assertion that levels had dropped in the squad.

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City were victorious in a tight FA Cup game against Arsenal on Friday night and won 3-0 over Wolves in their most recent Premier League fixture. But those results have come since back-to-back defeats to Southampton and Manchester United and going 2-0 down to Tottenham before a comeback.

The reigning champions also dropped points against struggling Everton on New Year’s Eve and were beaten by Brentford in their final game before the World Cup break in November.

Guardiola launched a scathing attack on his own players after beating Spurs 4-2 just over a week ago.

“We are far away from the team that we were,” he told Sky Sports at the time. “Not in terms of play, we played good enough but there are many things like competitiveness, in terms of what we have to do in many things that we are far away.

“Sooner or later, we are again [going] to drop points. [We are missing] passion, fire and desire and to win from minute one.”

Knocking Arsenal out of the FA Cup, although still not a vintage City display, was an important psychological boost. Ake scored the only goal of the game with a player of the match performance.

“He feels our own fire dipped a bit and the only thing we can do is try to get that back,” Ake said.

“He’s probably right. The only thing we can do is fight back and show everyone and ourselves especially we still have that hunger. He has been at top clubs and probably did it to wake us up.”

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