'Angry' Hart eyes big rebound
Joe Hart says he will channel his "anger" from Manchester City's 3-0 loss to Liverpool into a strong finish to the season, starting with Saturday's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United at Wembley.
Hart already has enjoyable memories of Wembley in an England shirt, but now the goalkeeper wants to match those experiences with his club as City desperately seek to win some silverware.
Five of Hart's ten England caps have come in the rebuilt stadium, where he is unbeaten with three wins and two draws plus a couple of clean sheets.
"I have good memories of Wembley but I want better ones,'' he said. "I want some with Manchester City. Hopefully I will get two games there with them this season.''
Hart insisted City will not panic after Monday's defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League, but he also rejected the idea the result should be forgotten and put in the past. Instead, Hart has encouraged team-mates to join him in harnessing the disappointment as inspiration to achieve their dual goals of a top-four finish and a trophy.
Hart was given virtually no protection at Anfield and had it not been for an excellent fingertip save to deny Luis Suarez, the Blues would have been behind long before Andy Carroll's first Reds goal began a nightmare City have rarely experienced in recent times.
"It is not the end of the world but for anyone who is human, a result like that hurts,'' said the 23-year-old. "We need to use it positively. It has made me angry and wanting to finish the season well. There is no point leaving at Anfield what we have done all season.''
City fans are desperately crossing their fingers over the fitness of skipper Carlos Tevez, who limped off with a hamstring injury. Yet even Mancini believes it will be impossible to get Tevez fit, meaning either Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko or both will be required to step up. Dzeko is yet to show he is capable of achieving that, although he did score twice against United in his Wolfsburg days.
Balotelli is a different story, although the 20-year-old's attitude was called into question once more on Merseyside after a performance so tepid he was substituted before the end despite being the substitute for Tevez. If there is a silver lining it is that City, despite collecting just two points from their last five away games and bowing out of the Europa League in dismal fashion to Dynamo Kiev last month, still have so much to play for and Hart knows City will need no extra motivation for the Manchester derby in London.
"It won't be difficult to lift ourselves,'' he said. "Saturday takes care of itself. It is a massive day and a massive occasion for everyone. We still have massive games to play. That is the exciting thing about being at this club. It has been weird not playing two games this week because we were not in the Europa League. But we must use that as a positive. We have not usually had the rest we have now. There are no excuses. We have to go out there and perform.''