Joe Hart insists Manchester City will not give up in title race

Champions trail Manchester United by 12 points

Goalkeeper Joe Hart claims Manchester City would still be fighting to win the Barclays Premier League even if it was mathematically impossible.

City's hopes of retaining their title look slim with rivals Manchester United holding a 12-point lead at top of the table with just 11 games remaining.

The champions boosted confidence after a run of three league games without a win by seeing off third-placed Chelsea on Sunday and Hart is determined to keep the dream alive.

The England goalkeeper, who saved a penalty from Frank Lampard in the 2-0 victory, said: "Even if there is one game to go and we are 12 points behind, we'll still believe. We've got to.

"We've got to keep fighting, you never know. We have just got to keep going.

"It's going to be really hard, we've got a lot to do but we're going to have a damn good go at doing it."

Manager Roberto Mancini was scathing of his players after a dismal and damaging defeat at Southampton just over a fortnight ago but Hart claims their spirit was never in doubt.

The 25-year-old, himself subject of individual criticism from Mancini since the loss at St Mary's Stadium, said: "We have got it, no doubt about it.

"We all under-performed against Southampton - that's gone, you can't do anything now, you move on from that. You have got to look forward.

"You can speculate and talk about the past but we have just got to look forward and try to win. The only way is up for us."

City are not in action again until they travel to struggling Aston Villa next Monday, by which time they could be 15 points behind United.

Mancini hopes captain Vincent Kompany will be fit to return after five games out with a calf injury which has taken longer than expected to heal.

Mancini said: "The calf is a strange injury, and it is very dangerous. I hope we can recover him for Aston Villa."

Midfielder Gareth Barry will hope to prove his fitness from an ankle problem while Mancini has also revealed right-back Maicon faces a month on the sidelines after a knee operation.

The Brazilian missed the Christmas programme and the whole of January with a knee injury but had made three substitute appearances this month.

Mancini said: "He has had surgery on his knee, but in a month he can recover. The operation was to clean his meniscus."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
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

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism