Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart turns his thoughts towards Norwich City
10:59 28 December 2012
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has warned arch-rivals Manchester United that the title race is far from over despite their seven-point lead.
The 25-year-old England international was a disappointed man after former club-mate Adam Johnson sneaked a long-range shot past him at the Stadium of Light to condemn City to a third successive 1-0 Premier League defeat at Sunderland.
The defeat saw the champions slip further off the pace as they attempted to reel in United, who had to come from behind three times before eventually beating the Black Cats’ north-east neighbours Newcastle 4-3 at Old Trafford in stoppage time.
But Hart remains bullish as he looks forward to starting to make amends at Carrow Road tomorrow.
“We have had leads, United have had the lead – it’s to-ing and fro-ing at the moment,” he said. “We are a team of winners. It’s hard and it hurts, but we have got to move on. It is hard to lead and it is hard to chase too. We have clawed points back before, we proved it at the end of last year. We have just got to believe.”
He added: “For now, we only have Norwich on our minds!”
Hart was facing critisicm in some quarters yesterday, with some even pointing to the error for Sunderland’s goal as evidence that he is struggling to justify claims that he is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League.
Mancini, however, while admitting that Hart might have been anticipating a cross rather than a shot, absolved his goalkeeper from blame, saying he could not get across his goal in time to prevent the ball from ending up in the bottom corner.
Hart said: “First and foremost, someone stamped on Zaba – it was a blatantly obvious foul – but what can you do? I was in my position for the shot, and that’s where you will see me again on Saturday. But he struck it well with just enough wobble to beat me.”