Hart dismisses United mind games

Joe Hart shrugged off Manchester United's attempts to play mind games in a bid to unsettle the Citizens and derail their title charge.

Premier League: Joe Hart, Nani

Wayne Rooney claimed that United struck an important psychological blow against the Blues with their rousing comeback at Chelsea.

However, Hart claims City are unaffected by the comments as they are fully focused on their own performances. The City custodian said that his side is looking forward to playing Aston Villa on Sunday and they don't pay great attention to how their city rivals perform in their matches.

"God knows, we can only concentrate on ourselves," said Hart according to Mirrorfootball.co.uk. "I don't think we know their fixtures, and I'm sure they don't know ours.

"They've just got to focus on what they're doing, and we'll do what we can do to help ourselves. We can only do that by winning.

"We've got a lot more things on our plate than worrying about Man United. We've got a big game against Villa coming up and we've got really important teams to play against.

Roberto Mancini is also being cautious about reading much into Man Utd's fixture list and he does not see the next three weeks as an opportunity for the Blues to expand their lead over Man Utd even as the latter faces tough games against Liverpool and Tottenham.

"I don't know about this because Manchester United can win all their games because they are strong like us," said the City boss. "For this reason I don't think we can think about the other teams.

"I think all the remaining games are difficult. You are playing against top squads. Some of them them are at the bottom and are fighting relegation, so for this reason there are no easy games."

Hart wants to win the Golden Glove, awarded to the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets, and with 10 clean sheets so far, he appears to be amongst the favourites for the award. 

But despite the fact that City have the best defensive record - their miserly defence has only conceded 19 goals - he believes that he could have kept more clean sheets. He wants the defence to concentrate harder than they have so far for the remainder of the season.

"It was just great to beat Fulham and keep a clean sheet," he said. "We should have had about 15 clean sheets this season, but we've let in some sloppy goals after battering teams so it was nice to finish it 3-0.

"I do count our number of clean sheets because we pride ourselves on them at the back and it all adds up at the end of the season."

Meanwhile, City have been given some good news from Mario Balotelli's agent as he states that the temparamental striker could stay with the club despite having said earlier that it was his duty "to protect and then take him away". 

Mino Raiola's comments were made after the 21-year-old striker was slapped with a four-match ban for violent conduct in the match against Tottenham on 22nd January.   

The controversial Italian has been in thrilling form this season, having scored 12 goals to help his side reach the summit of the Premier League. But in the match against Tottenham, he was found guilty of stamping on Scott Parker and was heavily criticised in the media for the action. 

On Monday, though, the striker's agent insisted in comments to the Sun: "As far as Mario is concerned, we have a strategy for him to stay at Manchester City for three years - which we are respecting in full.

"We hope that he will continue to play for them next season, even though you can never rule anything out."

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