Joe Hart intends to carry on speaking from the heart

 

One of the tips for a journalist conducting a live television interview is that you must always know the answer to your question. It is why so many post-match interviews begin with 'how'. "How delighted are you?" "How big a win was that?" "How good is Cristiano Ronaldo?" The answers are 'very', 'very' and 'very'.

It would be surprising if Gabriel Clarke, the ITV journalist who spoke to Joe Hart immediately after Ronaldo's shot had dipped savagely beneath his gloves to give Real Madrid a last-ditch victory at the Bernabeu on 18 September, expected the response he got from the Manchester City goalkeeper.

When Clarke said, "It is not often Real draw here, let alone lose," it was a sympathetic statement based on what most viewers would have thought – Manchester City had come astonishingly close to a victory that would have echoed around Europe. Instead, Hart gave the kind of answer that would have made Roy Keane proud.

"It is hard to come off the pitch and be positive; I know you want to hear that but we lost the game," he said. "We are not a team that should pat ourselves on the back having lost."

A few days later, in the Trafford Centre, a monument to commerce rather than sport, Hart is similarly uncompromising. He is promoting a football game, Fifa 13, but this is not the time for an easy chat.

"I feel that way everywhere we go, whether that is in the first round of the FA Cup or at the Bernabeu," he said. "You play to win. There is no part of me that is happy we lost. We played bloody well and there are moments we can look back upon – Yaya [Touré]'s goal, [Aleksandar] Kolarov putting in that ball that nobody could defend. But we lost."

Interestingly, Borussia Dortmund, Wednesday's opponents in the Champions League, have suffered their own defensive agonies when beginning the defence of their Bundesliga title.

"Six goals conceded in two games is fatal," said their captain, Sebastian Kehl, in the wake of Tuesday's 3-3 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt. "It is a terrible number." Manchester City have conceded eight in three.

Maybe it is the appointment of a new defensive coach, Angelo Gregucci, whose instructions have to be translated. Maybe it is the experimentation with a three-man defence. Maybe it is the fact that, since the Premier League began, only Manchester United and Chelsea have successfully defended a title.

"We have been there to be shot at for a while so I don't think actually winning the title makes any real difference," Hart said. "For financial reasons people have long had a point to prove against Manchester City. We haven't had the start we had last year but, then again, we might not have the January we had last season.

"I think [manager Roberto Mancini] does know his best team. He has chopped and changed when necessary but I don't think he is searching for anything. It is going to be tough to retain the title, but then again it was ridiculously tough last time."

Mancini did not appreciate his goalkeeper's comments in Madrid, mainly because in the fluster of the frantic hour and a half between the final whistle at the Bernabeu and the departure for Barajas Airport, he misunderstood what Hart had said. Mancini thought he had said Manchester City were not good enough.

Hart, however, is a man who has always spoken his mind. When City's scrambled 3-3 draw with Sunderland last season gave United the chance to go five points clear with seven matches remaining, Mancini publicly stated that his side would be "finished" if they lost the subsequent game at Arsenal, which they did.

Hart, however, delivered an impassioned "fight, fight and fight again" speech, declaring that City would never give up their pursuit of United – although he could not have imagined how that race would end.

"I meant what I said then," he remarked. "I never say anything I don't mean. I do believe. When England went to the Euros, people said we had no chance of winning the competition but my point was, why would I do anything I didn't believe I could win?"

England did not win but Manchester City did. Mancini's concession of the title was hailed as a masterstroke, simultaneously removing the pressure from his own players and beating his United counterpart, Sir Alex Ferguson, at his own mind games.

"Well, whatever he said, it worked," said Hart, with rather more scepticism. "Did he tell us that? No, of course he didn't. He would never tell his team they couldn't win it.

"We knew it would be difficult, we knew we had to rely on other teams, but we knew as well we could win all our remaining games. That belief is still there."

Joe Hart was taking part in the #Fifa13CelebCup. Go to facebook.com/easportsfifa for photos of the event. EA Sports Fifa13 is out now on all formats including PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360 and iOS

City: In figures

14: Goals conceded by City this season in eight games

17: Amount spent on defenders (in millions of pounds) during the summer

10: Different defenders used this season in eight games

0: Times City let in four goals last season (Villa scored four in midweek)

9: Goals conceded in first eight games of last season

Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Sport
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
News
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
News
people
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
News
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Extras
indybest
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

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape