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With the reigning Premier League champion trailing Manchester United by 15 points, the goalkeeper is keen for him and the squad to improve during the end-of-season run-in

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart admits his season "has not been brilliant" and concedes it has been a tough campaign for the Premier League champions.

With just nine games left to play, Roberto Mancini's side trails rival Manchester United by 15 points in its quest to retain the league title.

Hart has not given up hope of securing success this term with City still in the FA Cup but the England international insists his side must continue to challenge in every competition.

"With City, it's not been last year that's for sure. It's been tough," Hart told reporters. "We are not in the position we want to be in. We remain focused and hard on the case of what we need to do. We are still in one cup, a little further away than we would like to be in terms of the league.

"But we need to nail down that second spot and in doing that it will push us to really go for the title as well. You can't not go for it. It's a long way off but we've got an awful lot to fight for and it's a big couple of months for us."

Hart has boasted the highest number of clean sheets in the Premier League for the past two seasons, however, his performances have come under fire from Mancini this term.

"My season has not been brilliant," Hart said. "It's had its good times but it's football. It's what I love doing. I've enjoyed it, it's been tough, things haven't always gone my way. I'm enjoying the fight and getting back in there.

"Sometimes you take knocks, that's football, you take opinions, but you've got to be strong. I feel strong, good, that I'm doing the right things and hopefully I can have a good end to the season.

"I understand you have your great nights and sometimes things don't go the way you want. That's the way it is. I'm my strongest critic but I would never bury myself. It's pretty obvious when you make a mistake as a keeper, you don't need to dwell on it too long. It's out there."

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