Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola this Friday said he was sorry for Unai Emery after the manager was sacked by Arsenal, calling him an “incredible professional” and predicting that “he’ll find a new job soon”.

Arsenal announced on Friday that it had sacked Emery after the Premier League club’s worst run in more than a quarter of a century.

Guardiola, however, was more focused on the task at hand as his side prepares to face Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Saturday.

Guardiola recognised Newcastle have had some positive results this season under new manager Steve Bruce and said they have the quality to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

The Magpies were in danger of the drop last season but climbed out of the relegation zone in the second half of the season to finish 13th under Rafa Benitez, who left the club at the close season.

Despite a lacklustre start to this season under Bruce, Newcastle earned wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United and sit 14th in the standings, five points above the relegation zone.

A 2-1 defeat in the same fixture in January last season nearly ended City’s league title hopes before Guardiola rallied his team to embark on a 14-match winning run to pip Liverpool to the trophy by a single point.

City is third in the league, nine points behind leaders Liverpool and a point behind Leicester City but Guardiola said the title race is not on his mind at this stage of the season.