No Pep Guardiola distraction for 'title-chasing' Manchester City - Joe Hart
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart insists that the team are focused on the task at hand despite the distraction of Pep Guardiola's impending arrival in the summer.
Hart helped City to a narrow 1-0 win away to Sunderland on Tuesday, the first game after the club announced that Bayern Munich coach Guardiola would replace Manuel Pellegrini at the end of the season.
A Sergio Aguero winner in the 16th minute was enough to snatch all three points, but Hart had to make a number of key saves to hold off their relegation-threatened hosts.
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With a top-of-the-table clash against Premier League leaders Leicester City looming on Saturday, Hart has urged his teammates to keep their heads in the game, instead of thinking about what the future holds.
"That [Guardiola appointment] will take care of itself. Right now my focus is with the players I am with, and the management I am with," Hart told Manchester Evening News.
"The summer is the summer. It is very exciting for everybody outside of our team, but in our team, it is the moment we live in.
"Manuel is the manager, we are with each other and that's how it's going to stay.
"It's the club's decision that Manuel won't carry on next season, therefore it has been worked together with him, so he has enough time to sort himself out, and the next season is next season.
"That couldn't be any further from our mindsets right now. We have Manuel as manager and are fighting on all fronts."
City finally landed their man, having courted Guardiola's signature since 2012 when Roberto Mancini was managing the club.
Despite Pellegrini winning the league and league cup double two seasons ago, the City decision-makers have never stopped their pursuit of the former Barcelona manager.
Hart, who is hoping to finish this season strong, to retain his place as England's starting goalkeeper at the European championships made it clear that the players themselves, have always been 100 percent behind the Chilean tactician.
"I can't talk for everyone, but I think it's pretty obvious there is no revolt," he added.
"That is not the reason he is not managing us next season.
"We've enjoyed playing under him. We play expressive football and have been there or thereabouts from the moment he stepped through the door, winning stuff, not quite winning stuff, and we are going to keep going on with that.
"You can see from his demeanour and how he is that he is in control of the situation."
With three points separating them from the Foxes at the top of the table, a home win at the Etihad Stadium this weekend could see Pellegrini's side overtake Leicester and reshape the dynamics of what has become one of the most interesting title races in recent times.