Pep Guardiola denied that he "disrespected" Tottenham Hotspur, saying Mauricio Pochettino made a "mistake" when criticising him.
Pochettino was upset that Manchester City boss Guardiola referred to Chelsea, Manchester United and the "Harry Kane team" when he was talking about City's Premier League title rivals before the international break. The Spurs boss claimed the comment was "ungentlemanly," but Guardiola said he would never be disrespectful about another team.
The Spaniard looked dejected and admitted he was "disappointed" after being told of Pochettino's comments and defended his record of praising Tottenham's progression over the past few seasons.
Guardiola however told at a news conference ahead of the game against Stoke City on Saturday that he had consistently praised the quality of Pochettino's team, according to Sky Sports.
"Maybe my memory is not so well, but I was never disrespectful to my colleague," he said. "I was never disrespectful in a press conference. Never."
"When I talked about Harry Kane's team, it was because Harry Kane was scoring a lot of goals, and I know perfectly that Tottenham are not Harry Kane alone."
"When he lost against Chelsea in the (FA Cup) semi-finals (last season) I said it was incredible because Chelsea shot four times on the target and scored four goals. And I said Tottenham is one of the best teams." Guardiola said, as per ESPN.
"I said Tottenham are one of the best teams playing. So I'm really disappointed if he said that. I don't know what he said, but I was never disrespectful about my colleagues. I respect a lot what Tottenham have done in the last two or three years. There is a lot of credit in the way they play, in the way they are always attacking."
"I've said it many times -- just review what I said. I gave a lot of credit to Tottenham, because last season they finished better than us and that means a lot."
Guardiola added: "Maybe I should have said Pochettino's team when I said Harry Kane's team."
But he said: "I said it because Kane scored two goals more against Huddersfield and a goal for the national team and then another goal for the national team.