Manchester City made their worst start to a season since 2008-09, but the four-time Premier League champions have turned things around
Guardiola’s side were given an extra week off prior to starting their Premier League season in September, but their tally of 12 points from their opening eight games was their worst start to a top-flight campaign since 2008-09.
However, City are unbeaten in seven Premier League outings since a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham, conceding just twice during that run.
First they face rivals Manchester United on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup semi-finals – chasing a fourth consecutive triumph in the competition – and De Bruyne has put their early struggles down to a lack of proper preparation owing to a condensed pre-season.
“I think at the beginning of the season we had many difficulties, many injuries, no pre-season,” De Bruyne said.
“Mentally and physically, we weren’t ready for the new season.
“I think over the last month we recovered a few players, we raised our level, we have won a few matches and we have gone up a few places in the table.
“We still have another eight games in January in all competitions, it’s going to be tough, but I think we are ready for the battle and that is what matters.”
Following the two successive cup games, against United in the Carabao Cup and Birmingham in the FA Cup, City embark on a run of three home games on the spin in the Premier League.