'Committed' Tevez no Man City outcast, says Joe Hart

By Andrew ToftBBC Sport

Manchester City keeper Joe Hart says Argentina striker Carlos Tevez shows total commitment in training and is not an outcast at the club.

Tevez made public his desire to leave in the summer and was stripped of the captaincy by boss Roberto Mancini.

"There's a lot of respect for Carlos because he's a great guy and a great footballer," Hart told Football Focus.

"You wake up and read one thing about him but in training he's really committed to what he's doing."

And the England keeper added: "He's never disrespected the club in any kind of way or disrespected us as team-mates.

"He's got on with it."

Mancini has already made it clear to Tevez that his chances to play may be limited in a world-class attacking squad that also includes Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli, Samir Nasri and David Silva.

But Hart maintains there is no danger of disharmony in an expensively assembled squad he says is miraculously free of giant egos.

"We've got some of the world's best footballers at this club but they're no different to us," he said.

"We've got a great set of lads here - no-one makes you feel you shouldn't be here and that's what's good about this place at the moment," added the 24-year-old.

One aspect of club life Hart does admit to finding trying is the day-to-day business of training with some of the world's best strikers - something he concedes has him "steaming" with frustration.

"I've got sparks coming off the posts because every single day I am attacking the goals when I don't get anywhere near the ball," he said.

"It's quite frustrating. I walk off with steam coming out of my ears because the quality is really high in our squad at the moment."

But he recognises being the man under fire at training pays dividends on matchdays.

"If you're not on the ball, you're going to be made to look stupid - especially in training - so when you come to games you feel quite sharp," added Hart.

"You're expecting all sorts because of what's going on at the training ground, with the ability we've got."

Indeed, with the strikers at Mancini's disposal, the City boss possesses the kind of attacking force that could make even European champions Barcelona sit up and take notice.

And Hart is blunt about the club's determination to usurp the Catalan giants as the continent's best - an ambition that transcends more local considerations.

"I think that's ultimately the goal. I'm not going to lie about it. I don't think Manchester United really come into the reckoning. That's not really what we're about, we're not about beating one club," he said.

"We've a got a lot of respect for Manchester United across the road, doing what they're doing. But ultimately we want to remove everyone in our way to be the best club that we can."

This season's first foray into the Champions League offers everyone at Manchester City the chance to gauge how far they have come, as well as the distance they have left on their journey to becoming a major European force.

Success on the continent is arguably part of how the club will be defined in seasons to come, but European football has already left its imprint on City and, in particular, their fans.

The "Poznan" - where supporters turn their backs to the pitch and bounce up and down with their arms around each other - has become the default goal celebration at Eastlands.

And Hart can remember its genesis.

"We were playing [Polish side] Lech Poznan at home, we were 3-0 up, I think, and they scored against me. The away supporters, who were all amazing, turned their backs," he said.

"It was quite interesting to watch. I shouldn't really have been watching, or too interested, because they'd just scored. But I was.

"A couple of people started doing it in the following games. We nicked it from them.

"We played Fulham on Sunday and it felt like the stadium was going to fall down when we scored the second. You could really feel it rumbling."

It can, of course, come back to haunt City - as the Fulham fans were delighted to demonstrate when Danny Murphy pulled his resurgent side level at Craven Cottage and they turned and performed a "Poznan" of their own.

"If we go a couple of goals up like we did against Fulham, it can all blow up in our faces as a few people will mock it," Hart conceded.

"But it's what the club is about at the moment - people see City and when we score they know what it's about.

"It's great. I think everyone remembers when we played Man United at Wembley. It was red and blue, and the blue half was doing it. It was really exciting."

If Hart and his team-mates have their way, that Wembley showing will be the first of many for the "Poznan" on the big stage.

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