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No hiding place for stumbling City: Hart

No hiding place for stumbling City: Hart
Joe Hart admits Manchester City could be destined for a season of failure unless they come to terms with their new status as a prize scalp for the rest of the Premier League.

Roberto Mancini’s side kicked off the new campaign full of confidence after winning the club’s first English title for 44 years in dramatic fashion on the final day of last season.

But that optimism is beginning to fade after a disappointing run of just three wins from their first nine games in all competitions.

England international Hart, who underlined his reputation as one of the best goalkeepers in the world with a superb display in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund, believes his team-mates are finding it hard to deal with the increased expectations that come with being Premier League champions and also the extra desire opponents now have to beat them.

They face another test of their mental strength on Saturday as Martin O’Neill’s unbeaten Sunderland -- the only team to take a home point off City in the league last season -- visit Eastlands looking to spring a shock.

It is exactly the sort of fixture that City, who are already four points behind leaders Chelsea, must win if they are to retain the title and Hart said: ‘I don’t know if it is a learning curve, we are in with the big boys now.

‘There is no place to hide. There is no point learning if you are not going to win. ‘We were pretty open but it allows us to play forward. Hopefully we can shore it up again and be the force that we are.’

If City don’t win this weekend they are in danger of falling way behind Chelsea, who are heavily favoured to beat Norwich at Stamford Bridge.    
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