Holloway convinced of City title credentials

Manchester City 1 Blackpool 0

As Ian Holloway was quick to note, everywhere at Eastlands, from barrier covers to sticks of rock, there are signs of progress but perhaps the biggest indication of forward momentum is something that has dissipated.

For too long, City have been defined by their neighbours United, even when they were in different divisions but now they are challenging them for the title, there are other things to think about.

"I'm not really bothered what United do," goalkeeper Joe Hart said. "We can only focus on what we're doing. We've been playing against Blackpool, then Arsenal on Wednesday.

"I don't even know who United have got next and I'm pretty sure they don't care who we've got. They just focus on what they're doing, and that's we're trying to do here."

Short of their best and wasteful in front of goal they may have been against Blackpool, but City have now picked up six victories in eight Premier League matches ahead of Wednesday's trip to Arsenal.

And with their ongoing interest in Wolfsburg's Edin Dzeko and the Benfica defender David Luiz, who is also wanted by Chelsea, City are the only title challengers likely to strengthen significantly this month.

The Emirates will offer another indication of their prospects, with Arsenal having won 3-0 at City in October when Dedryck Boyata, who has not featured in the Premier League since, was sent off after just four minutes.

"Arsenal will be exciting," Hart added. "Obviously, they beat us here earlier in the season but it was a bit of a strange affair and I don't think either side got a grasp of what the other is really like because we were down to 10 men after four minutes.

"So it will be a totally different encounter, a night game at the Emirates, you've got to embrace these situations.

"The standard is very high in this league and it's a bit to and fro at the moment, but I think the teams that should be winning are winning all the games they should be at the moment and we've got to try to keep doing that as well."

Adam Johnson scored the only goal at Eastlands, sweeping in from just outside the area thanks to a Stephen Crainey deflection before Carlos Tevez missed a penalty and a host of other chances.

Holloway was a little dismissive of City's prospects after their 3-2 victory at Bloomfield Road in October but has revised his opinion after this loss, insisting that Roberto Mancini's side can last the distance.

"I thought they'd improved greatly on when we played them in the home game. I think they are learning to win," Holloway said. "The closer they get to the top the more they will get together and well done to them.

"I didn't agree with Mark Hughes not keeping his job at the time, but then again, who am I to question what they are doing? They are doing it with dignity now. Not when [the owners]) first came in – 'We're gonna get Ronaldo' and all that – I didn't think that was very dignified and it was bragging. But now, someone here really knows what they're doing and the whole place is moving towards that wonderful scenario of one day, they might do it."

Scorer: Manchester City A Johnson 34.

Subs: Man City Zabaleta (Kolarov, 58), Milner (Silva, 64), Vieira (Y Touré, 85). Blackpool Phillips (Sylvestre, 46), Ormerod (Taylor-Fletcher, 74), Carney (Varney, 82).

Man of the match Y Touré. Match rating 7/10.

Possession Man City 56% Blackpool 44%.

Shots on target Man City 4 Blackpool 7.

Referee M Clattenburg (Durham). Att 47,296.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?