Hart keen to restore City's pride in derby

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has urged his his side to 'repair a bit of the damage' from their disappointing season by beating arch-rivals Manchester United.

Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Kolo Toure of Manches


City have been nothing shot of woeful in their defence of the Premier League title they narrowly won last season; the Citizens currently trail league leaders United by a massive 15 points, and with only eight more games to go, the Red Devils are fully expected to be crowned champions come the end of the season.

The Citizens could be further humiliated in the upcoming Manchester derby at Old Trafford, but Hart, who acknowledges his side have failed to live up to expectations this season, is determined to give City fans something to cheer about on Monday.

"It's hard for me to throw out any massive positives," Hart told the Daily Mail.

"The league table is over the season - it's not like they have won a bonus game worth 15 points and gone above us.

"They have kept winning and gone above us, so it has to be a true reflection.

"In various games we haven't done it. Every team will say you need at least eight performing and sometimes we haven't had that.

"United have been a machine who have kept killing and we haven't.

"We owe it to our fans to put on a performance.

"We have not given them the highs of last season but hopefully we can give them a good couple of results and repair a bit of the damage."

Hart also assured fans their triumph in the Premier League last season would not be a one-off and insisted his side would improve for the next campaign.

"People will say it's a massive backwards step not winning the league but it's not that," Hart added. 

"We are still the side to beat and we will come again. We are not a flash in the pan. We have to start well next season after finishing this season well.

"It's not a case of intending to win the league and when you have done it saying: 'Right, that's it'.

"Your standards have to be higher. You have to keep readjusting them. There is plenty to play for but we would prefer to be snapping at United's heels. 

"I can talk you through every game we have lost because you go away thinking how you could have done better to help us win the game. That's why we are such a good team.

"They [United] were always going to come back strongly this season and we intended to do the same. 

"It's just how the season panned out but we have other things we have to keep an eye on and hopefully the season will end in a positive way.

"I don't care about criticism being fair or unfair. You can't feel like a victim. We are not victims, we are right at the top of the game.

"It's been a tough season, not quite as free-flowing. I have worked hard and taken criticism but I have also taken praise and you have to try to stay consistent throughout."

The England international remained impassive when quizzed about his thoughts on United's dominance in the Premier League.

"I'm not really interested in giving them [United] credit, it's about what we do," Hart declared. 

"We know how good we are and for someone to beat us is a big thing but I'm not interested if they [United] get praised or criticised.

"I wouldn't pick anyone ahead of my team-mates anywhere around the world. I feel we have enough to win any game and that's what we should be doing."

City memorably thrashed United 6-1 the last time both teams met in the Premier League at Old Trafford.

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