'We will never give up on EPL title'

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 30, 2013 08:17 hrs

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart insists that the club still believes it can retain the EPL title. Read on for an exclusive interview:

Q There are only nine games to go and City are 15 points behind United in the title race; if you don't beat Newcastle this weekend it's all over isn't it?

A "We know the situation; we know we need to win games. So all we are thinking about is winning. That's all you can do. Playing Newcastle is always a tough game but we have to be focused."

Q Maybe you should be giving up on the title and just making sure you hang on to second spot?

A "No way! We'll never do that and you'll never hear anyone say that. Even if there are four games to go and we are 12 points behind, we’ll still believe. We’ve got to. We’ve got to keep fighting because you never know. We have just got to keep going. Look what happened last season when we won it on the final day."

Q But Chelsea and Tottenham are improving and aiming for second spot now; aren't you a bit worried City could slip down the table?

A "You’ve always got to look up rather than down. It’s going to be really hard and we’ve got a lot to do, but we’re going to have a damn good go at doing it. That's who we are. We are a team of winners."

Q It must hurt to be so far behind United after winning your first title last year though - especially with a match at Old Trafford coming up soon as well?

A "It does. It's hard and it hurts; but we have got to move on.  But while there is still a chance to win the title it's obviously going to be our intention to do it. We worked so hard to get that title we are never going to just give it away. I’d imagine from the outside it looks that way but that’s just not the case. We are working hard."

Q It's been a tough season for City but also for you personally with a few mistakes and some criticism of your performances. How do you look back on the year?

A "It's not been brilliant, that's true. It's had its good times but that's football; it's what I love doing.

"Stuff gets said, that's fair enough, but I'll always come out fighting. I'll always come out training hard and trying to keep my spot for club and country.

"Things haven't always gone my way but I'm enjoying the fight of getting back in there, sometimes you take knocks but that's football. You have to take opinions."

Q So what do you think has gone wrong? Last season City were champions and we all thought you would be invincible this year?

A "I don't know, I really don't. I'd like someone to tell me! Honestly don't think we've been that bad. It is a tough league, it’s hard to win games. Unfortunately when we do lose, United stretch that lead and it has been disappointing but, you know, we will keep going."

Q But you could hardly say it's been a perfect season for City, has it?

A "Not perfect, no. We've maybe drawn more games than we would have liked. And maybe you do need to be perfect to win this league."

Q You've had some personal criticism this season; things have not always gone your way - even Roberto Mancini has had a go. Has that been difficult? How would you rate your season?

A "It's been what it's been. I've tried to stay consistent, prepare and show desire in the games. I do everything I can to save it; sometimes I can save it, sometimes not. Sometimes the ones that I should be saving haven't been saved. That's all there is to it."

Q So are you a better keeper than last season?

A "I’d like to think so. I don’t know whether I’m better, but I’m working on addressing certain situations. I’m working with the same appetite, the same hunger, the same love for the game, the same will to win.

"I love playing, I love training hard, I love playing hard and I love winning. I have to accept when I'm playing that there's going to be another side and you have to take that sometimes."

Q You have just come back from a trip to Montenegro with England. Were you disappointed with the 1-1 draw? Are England in danger of missing out on the World Cup?

A "We are still confident. It’s a really tough thing to qualify for a World Cup and you kind of take it a bit for granted — but that’s our plan and we aim to really capitalise on the home games.

“Not qualifying is not even crossing my mind at the minute. We have got Montenegro at home, we have got ourselves in a strong position. If we win all the games now, we finish top of the group and nothing can be said.

“That’s the way we are going to have to do things. We are in this position now, so we have to move on from that. We would like to have won in Montenegro but we have to look back upon this as a point earned.”

Q So even more important for you to end the week with a victory for City?

A "I hope so; it's very important to win every game now and keep going for as long as possible."

Q  It's the big derby at Old Trafford soon after that - the nightmare scenario is you end up losing the title with a defeat against your bitter rivals!

A "I haven't even thought about that; I'm not going to think about that. We just have to keep winning games."

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