Phillips, 28, represented England at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but returned home heavier than the target set by his club. Guardiola responded by calling him “overweight” and said he was not in the right condition to train.
“After the World Cup was probably the toughest [period], when Pep came out and said I was overweight… He was right to do so but there are different ways to go about it,” Phillips said.
“I did not disagree with him but obviously I took a big knock on my confidence and how I felt at City. And my family were not happy about it, either. Especially my mum.
“It was just a misunderstanding and I think he was very frustrated with me coming back 1.5kg over my weight target.”
Phillips has had a tricky start to life at West Ham as he bids to retain his place in the Gareth Southgate’s England squad ahead of the European Championship in Germany this summer.