Man City struggling to cope with Premier League defence, admits Hart

Manchester City have found the defence of their Premier League title more difficult than expected, goalkeeper Joe Hart has said. The Daily Telegraph reports that Hart feels that defending the title is proving even harder than winning it in the first place.

City are currently seven points adrift of Manchester United, having suffered defeat against Sunderland on Boxing Day through a goal scored by former City winger Adam Johnson. The result ensured United will be top of the table going in to 2013 but was only City’s second loss of the domestic season. United, by comparison, have been beaten three times, despite their points advantage.

The Telegraph suggests that Hart was at fault for the goal by his old teammate, having been in a poor position and subsequently unable to make the save, while manager Roberto Mancini has come under pressure after City were knocked out of the Champions League before Christmas for the second consecutive year.

Hart said: “We have dominated a lot of games, but people play differently against us now. We have to adjust to that and hopefully the second half of the season will be better for us.

Teams are definitely playing differently when they face us, but that comes with being the champions. It’s tough when you play good football and people defend against you, but that’s what it’s like at the top, it’s tough.

The England international added: “No one else needs to know what gets said [in the dressing room], it’s down to us. To be leading is difficult, but chasing is even harder. Hopefully we can do what we did last year.

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