Thursday, 8 March 2012

Joe Hart: 'All I'm interested in is how we can win the league.

Joe Hart has come a long way since his £600k transfer to City from Shrewsbury Town. From being largely unknown outside Manchester City 3 years ago, he is now England's number 1 keeper and regarded as one of the best in Europe if not the world. And at 24 years old, he isn't anywhere near the peak of his ability.

One thing that has helped him along the way is his that he has a steady head on his shoulders, knowing when to relax and have a joke and when to get his game-face on. Right now, as far as football is concerned, it's strictly game-face.

When asked about the possibility of City not winning the league this year because of either Mancini or a negative influence from Tevez, his reply is one  of a person who is fully aware of the responsibilities he and his teammates possess.

"A lot of people will say that (with reference to blaming Mancini) but, personally, I won’. If we don’t win the league, it will be our own fault. That includes Carlos, myself – everyone.

“I’m not interested in what’s perceived outside of the club. All I’m interested in is what’s going on inside the club and how we can win the league."

As for the possibility of Tevez returning to first team action, it is a subject that has divided City fans but as most players, Joe takes a more pragmatic stance;

“If that means Carlos coming back, scoring a hat-trick and everyone saying he’s the greatest player in the world, so be it. I couldn’t care less.

“I just think you’ve got to look further than your personal feelings,”

“Maybe it would be different if we were sat in fifth place and didn’t know where we were going.

“But we know where we’re going, and we haven’t got time to get hung up on individuals. We’ve got to be focused on our goal."

Joe doesn't feel Tevez will be walking straight back into the starting 11 when he is fit though. With Aguero being the new main striker with Balotelli and Dzeko all still scoring goals, Carlos may find it difficult to get a place on the bench, let alone in the starting 11.

Not forgetting either that it has been these 3 players that have contributed to where City are now and to drop either of them for a player who may or may not fit back in would be terribly harsh on them;

“I’ve not trained with Carlos personally [since his return], because of games and recovery, but the lads assure me that he’s firing.

“I’m sure it’s difficult [for the manager] and I’m sure other people are way ahead of Carlos in the pecking order, and rightfully so.

“We’ve been working hard whilst he’s been away for whatever reasons and I’m sure he understands that and appreciates that.

“So he’ll have to earn his place back. But if Carlos can play anything like we know he can, he’ll be an asset to the team.”

He isn't resting on his laurels either, with the end of the season looming it is still all to play for, especially with only 2 points separating 1st and 2nd place;

“It’s gone great so far, but we’ll judge it by where we finish at the end of the season.

“It’s nice now, but we need to win the title for it to be a good season."

There has been much talk of the pressures of being involved in a title race, and Joe Hart is one of the players at City never to have gone through such an experience. But he doesn't believe this will have a negative impact on the squad.

“There’s been pressure on us for a long time. But the pressure is put on ourselves by ourselves, in the dressing-room, because we want to win things.

“There’s obviously a lot of talk and hype around what we do, but we put ourselves under positive pressure to win every game.

“The Premier League is the most competitive in the world. I don’t think anyone is ever going to romp it by the start of March.

“We’ve got the most successful club in England, especially in Premier League terms, snapping away at our heels.”

“We can’t look to next season or try to hold onto a title we haven’t even won yet,

“But I’d love it to happen. I see myself as a part of City and I want to keep winning, I don’t want it to be a one-off.

“First and foremost, though, we have to keep our eyes on the prize this season and not lose sight of that.”

Sustained success is certainly what Sheikh Mansour was looking to achieve when he bought the club, and it's certainly looking like a very strong possibility when you have the players of the calibre the we have now. Just as important though is their desire to stay at the club and Joe is one who openly admits that he wants to stick around for a while.

When finding out that Alex Ferguson and United were apparently interested in him before City came along, Joe had this to say;

"For someone who I respect greatly and who I grew up admiring in football to say that is a great honour. I'm not quite sure what he meant by it but he's got fantastic goalkeepers there with [Anders] Lindegaard and David de Gea. And I'm quite happy on the other side of the city.

"I love Manchester City, I love playing for them. I'm really proud to have signed a long-term contract last summer and hopefully that can continue for a long time to come."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments containing abusive, foul or discriminatory language will not be published.