Joleon Lescott tips Manchester City team-mate Joe Hart to battle through the criticism after latest error

Goalkeeper will have felt he could have done better in saving Romelu Lukaku's effort but Lescott says he is strong enough to deal with anything that comes his way

Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott backed Joe Hart to come through the criticism being thrown his way after the England goalkeeper helped his club to a 3-1 victory over Everton on Saturday.

Despite his refusal to confirm that Hart would start following his midweek mistakes against Bayern Munich, City boss Manuel Pellegrini showed faith in the 26-year-old while changing more than half his team.

"We never doubted Joe and were never concerned with is form or ability," Lescott told BT Sport 1 on his England team-mate. "Joe's a strong enough man. He can deal with anything that's put on his shoulders."

Defeats by Aston Villa and Bayern Munich had made this a vital game for City and under-pressure Hart, and they responded in style at the Etihad Stadium to end Everton's unbeaten start to the Barclays Premier League season.

Romelu Lukaku put the Toffees ahead in the 16th minute but Alvaro Negredo equalised a minute later and Sergio Aguero struck to give the hosts the lead just before half-time.

The unlucky Tim Howard then diverted in a third in the 69th minute after initially saving Aguero's penalty.

"We went behind but showed great character to get back into the game and dominate from then on," Lescott said.

"I felt we had a few more chances in the first half and maybe we could have done better, but we (showed) our desire and commitment to the game throughout 90 minutes."

Lescott acknowledged it was important for City to get back to winning ways heading into the international break.

"I think it's probably come at the right time, going into the international break," he said. "We can't dwell on it for too long.

"Obviously now we can go away and gear up for something different - qualifying for the World Cup - and then come back and refocus on the Premier League."

PA

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