MANCHESTER, United Kingdom (REUTERS) - Pep Guardiola has warned that it may take time for Manchester City's squad to adapt to his style of play, although he has demanded an immediate improvement for their Premier League opener at home against Sunderland on Saturday.
Under the stewardship of Manuel Pellegrini, City appeared devoid of impetus last season and fell to the periphery of the title race after their lacklustre campaign lost direction.
Guardiola knows it will take time to reenergise the club and get the squad enjoying their football again, but wants to see more passion and heart from his players from the off as they seek a fifth domestic title.
"We are here to win titles but there are six, seven, eight big Premier League teams," he told reporters on Friday.
"To create something you need time, to create ideas to attack, but for soul we don't need time.
"To play with soul, we don't need time."
Since arriving, Guardiola has cracked down on the players' fitness, while a flux of new signings - including £47.5 million (S$82 million) addition John Stones from Everton - have prompted a new sense of optimism and purpose.
"Tomorrow, I don't know if we're going to play good, but I won't accept if we don't play with soul," Guardiola continued.
"I want our fans in the Etihad to see that. I want my players to play their football with pleasure inside."