Pep Guardiola has demanded improvement from Manchester City as they prepare to take on Chelsea on Wednesday and says the game will be a good test of the progress they have made.
City have impressed on occasions this season, but their inconsistency has seen them fall well behind Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title, with Guardiola's men trailing the leaders by 11 points.
Chelsea won the corresponding fixture 3-1 earlier this season in a game marred by a late brawl during which Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho were dismissed, but Guardiola is no longer thinking about that encounter in December.
"We are in a process of improvement," Guardiola stated at a news conference. Pep Guardiola Manchester City "I know now where we are - the good things and the things we must improve - but Wednesday will be a good test on a big stage. There are a lot of things we can improve, in the boxes especially.
"Chelsea will be a big game and especially a big game away, it is important to learn from these kinds of games for the future. Chelsea deserve to be where they are, they have won a lot of games and deserve their position. They play less games, they have more time to prepare. But Chelsea will be in Europe next year and they have the quality to compete.
"Every game is completely different, what I would like from my team is to go out and play. What happened last time was many, many things. Our frustration on the pitch happened. Sergio [Aguero] and Fernandinho are nice guys. "There are nine games left. We have to take as many points as possible and we will see."
Guardiola welcomed back Gabriel Jesus on the training pitch on Monday as the Brazilian continues his recovery from a fractured metatarsal and the City boss hopes the young attacker can still play a role this term.
"I do not know exactly how many weeks Gabriel Jesus needs to come back," he added.
"Monday was his first day running on the pitch. I think he's at the end of the process. Hopefully he can help us in the last games of the season."
Conte bears no grudge against Aguero
City are expected to bring in a number of new players ahead of next season and Guardiola has warned his players they are fighting for their future at the club.
"We will discuss with Txiki [Begiristain on transfers] at the end of the season," he concluded. "Changes are necessary. The players decide for themselves through the performance on the pitch."