Joe Hart insists Manchester City will keep fighting in the title race and believes they have benefitted from the return of Carlos Tevez.
Manchester United hold a five-point advantage over their neighbours with only four games left and could clinch the title at Etihad Stadium on April 30, the worst case scenario for City fans.
City boss Roberto Mancini conceded the title after the 1-0 defeat at Arsenal and maintained that stance despite comprehensive back-to-back victories. Those who were looking to place a football bet in favour of the blues may have been dissuaded to do so after that result; football bookie odds were slashed.
Hart thinks Mancini is publicly playing down City’s chances as a way of taking the pressure off the players.
The England stopper is striving for perfection during the remaining games, starting at Wolverhampton Wanderers this weekend, and is ready to pounce on any mistakes from United.
“There is no point in us turning up on Sunday if the title race is over. We’ve still got to believe, we’ve still got to fight for every single point available,” said Hart.
“I don’t think he (Mancini) means that the season is over. I think he is just trying to play it down a little bit and let us get on with what we need to do. There is no way any of us would give up until it is mathematically impossible.”
Controversial striker Tevez has recently returned from the wilderness, self-enforced after a public spat with Mancini, and has been in fine form, scoring a hat-trick at Norwich City last weekend.
Hart denied claims of a rift in the dressing room over the Tevez affair and insisted the players are working towards the same goal.
“We have been a bit dry on goals recently, so that fresh Carlos input has been awesome,” he added.
“You can say what you want about Carlos Tevez, but when he plays, he plays to win and he plays for his team-mates.