Sergio Aguero does not believe it will be possible for Manchester City to catch Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.
The Reds have dropped only two points this season and re-established their 13-point lead over second-placed Leicester on Sunday.
City are a point further back despite their 2-0 victory over Sheffield United at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s side have won the title in each of the last two seasons but Aguero does not think they will make it three in a row.
“Now, Liverpool is too hard. We have to focus just on winning because we need to play Champions League next season,” the striker, who scored his 10th league goal of the campaign on Sunday, said. “We have to play the same way and see what happens.”
Guardiola echoed the thoughts of the Argentinian in his own post-match comments, insisting that City should turn their focus to 2020/21.
The Catalan has previously dismissed rumours that he could walk away from Manchester at the end of the season, having never completed more than four seasons in charge of the same club.
“No. It’s unrealistic to think about that [catching Liverpool],” he said.
“A team which has the numbers of Liverpool, why should we think about that? It’s just preparing, play good and better to be as close to the top of the league as we can, prepare for the knockout competitions and for the next season.
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“Every game helps us to improve for next season. Hopefully we can do better.
“The motivation is to improve because when we improve we win games and that is the way to live better. That is the best motivation for all of us. Even in the past.
“Now we recover for three days, thank you for three days to recover, and prepare for the next game against Everton. That is what you have to do.”