Hart: We deserve Premier League title

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart believes if the Blues are crowned champions on May 13, they will have deserved it.

Screaming his lungs out after the penalty save.

Just four games ago, City were eight points adrift of Manchester United and being accused of cracking up under the intense pressure of challenging for a Barclays Premier League title.

The turnaround since that defeat at Arsenal has been startling.

Following their 1-0 win over United at the Etihad Stadium on Monday, City now know that a victory at Newcastle on Sunday will only leave them needing to beat relegation-threatened QPR on the final day to finish top for the first time since 1968.

Yet City may find that ultimate triumph being written up as an example of United throwing it away rather than them actually winning it.

Such an assessment, Hart insists, would be grossly unfair.

"The season doesn't lie," the England international said.

"It is all about where you finish at the end.

"Sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down but we have been in a strong position for seven months.

"We are not on a late surge. We have not been battling in fourth or fifth and all of a sudden come good.

"After Arsenal, we were strongly reminded that we were leading and then we supposedly cracked up.

"But we are back at the top when it matters. We have two big games to go. Hopefully we wrap up this league."

All season, the headlines have centred around the exploits of David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli.

On Monday, though, City's unsung heroes were the ones who stood up to be counted.

Utility man Pablo Zabaleta justified his inclusion at right-back ahead of Micah Richards. Joleon Lescott was equally impressive in central defence alongside skipper and goalscorer Vincent Kompany, while Hart wanted to make sure Gael Clichy got a mention as well.

"Sometimes it frustrates me," Hart said.

"I love the way Sergio and David have set this Premier League alight but people don't see the hard work others do. We have to do very well as a team for everyone to be appreciated.

"We know what a fantastic player Paul Scholes is but maybe it only gets noticed quite so much because Manchester United win things.

"Everyone needs their dues."

It is one of the reasons why Hart is not getting carried away by news Carlos Tevez wants to remain at City beyond the end of this season.

Four months ago, most Blues supporters would have cheerfully booted the Argentina striker out of their club.

Now he is proving to be an invaluable presence in the chase for glory.

And, for Hart, the vision extends no further than Newcastle on Sunday, and the final-day encounter with QPR after that.

"As long as Carlos is here for the next two games I couldn't care less what he does," he said.

"His future is for him and the club to decide. All I know is that he is really making a difference for us at the moment.

"The thing is, we are not outsiders looking in.

"We know what is going on. We know what he is going to do for us and we are very pleased with it."

Hart is expected to shrug off an ankle injury to play at Newcastle on Sunday - a game the whole championship battle seems to rest on.

Certainly there has been no extended celebration of the win over United that secured top spot on goal difference.

The task, underlined by Newcastle's 2-0 win at Chelsea last night, is far from completed.

"As opponents, United have gone now," Hart said.

"We have played them twice. Now we must focus on Newcastle.

"The vibes in the dressing room are positive, but no-one is getting carried away because we have another hard game in front of us.

"It is the Premier League. We wouldn't expect it any other way.

"But we go there with confidence. We are definitely up there as one of the best sides in this league."

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