Pep Guardiola admits he does not know when he will start getting the best out of Manchester City.
City are out of the top four following their defeat at Liverpool on Saturday and victory for Arsenal against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The Catalan insisted at the start of the season he would need time to adapt to the Premier League and get his players to fully understand his methods.
But when asked if he could put a timeframe on that progress, using Jurgen Klopp’s 14 months at Anfield as something of a barometer, Guardiola seemed no closer to a concrete answer.
“I don’t know, I’m not able to tell you that. I don’t know,” he said.
“Jurgen is here more than one season, more than one year. I’ve been here just six months and the way we want to play in the league is not that simple. We need a little bit more time but I’m a guy who is so optimistic and we’re going to try.”
City lost at Liverpool thanks to Georginio Wijnaldum’s eighth-minute goal, the sixth time the Blues have conceded in the first 15 minutes of a match this season – a league high.
Guardiola, as has often been the case after City have not won the previous fixture, was typically defiant.