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Jan 11, 2013

Joe Hart shrugs off criticism

Manchester City keeper Joe Hart has insisted he has not lost his confidence despite an alarming dip in form this season.

• Preview: Arsenal v Man City
• Blog: Arsenal just the ticket
• Barry wants to end Arsenal record

Hart has brushed off the increasingly vocal chorus of criticism he has received after a series of high-profile mistakes and has claimed it will not affect his mindset ahead of Sunday's showdown with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

"If you weren't doing well and winning things, people would not be interested in what you are doing," the 25-year-old stopper told Sky Sports News. "People are paid to make comments. You have to be strong and give the best you can week in, week out.

"I work hard. Sometimes I don't save the ball. It is not through lack of effort or concentration. You can't be perfect as much as you try to be."

Hart went on to stress that the ever-changing nature of City's defensive line has not be a reason for their creaking rearguard this season, as he argued the personnel or formation selected by coach Roberto Mancini are all part of the same unit.

"We are a close group and we all know how each other plays," he stressed. "It never feels foreign for anyone to come in. It's been a difficult season so far, but we are fighting through it and we're feeling positive."

City will look to end a 37-year wait for a win at Arsenal on Sunday, but Hart claims that record will not be a factor against Arsene Wenger's men.

"Apparently we haven't scored at Arsenal since 2007 which is never great when you're trying to win," he added.

"We feel strongly we can turn up anywhere and win, but it's just not been the case when we've been to the Emirates. Still, it's not one of those places where you walk through the doors and you're like; 'Oh no, we're here again. We're going to lose.' We are more positive."

• Pick your Premier League fantasy squad for the second half of the season now and challenge your friends.

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