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Season 2011/12

'Wounded' Porto are a danger, warns Hart

  • 20 February 2012 15:11
  • Posted by David Clayton

Joe Hart says City will not be complacent in the second leg of the Europa League tie with Porto and there is still a difficult task ahead on Wednesday night.

The Blues lead 2-1 from the first leg, but the England No.1 reckons the Portuguese side will not give up their hold on the trophy lightly and expects a tricky return game.

“Porto are a very good side, but we left there happy – really, really happy – that we’d beaten them,” said Hart. “That’s not because we felt they were better than us, but because it is a hard place to go and get an away lead.

“After working so hard to win in Portugal, we can’t afford to waste it in the home leg. We need to play like we did over there and not think about just trying for a draw or a 1-0 win. If we play our normal game, I think we’ll be OK.”

Hart was impressed by Porto and believes they have the ability to turn the tie around if the Blues aren’t at their best.

“They have some quality players and I know they worked Micah really hard with their left-back bombing on a lot,” he said.

“Hulk’s always going to be a danger, especially if he gets it on his left foot and within range.

The whole team have the capability of coming at you from all angles so we need to be ready if that happens

...Joe Hart

“In a funny way, they might actually enjoy the fact they are 2-1 down because the pressure is off and they can just come here and really fly at us. It should be a very exciting game.”

Hart, who collected his Etihad Player of the Month award on Monday afternoon, revealed the Europa League, much maligned in the Press over the years, is a competition the Blues are desperate to win.

He also believes the stature of the teams still left in speaks volumes for the prestige the trophy is held in around Europe.

“People can say what they want about the Europa League, but there are a lot of top quality sides in the competition,” he said.

“Sporting Lisbon, Ajax, Porto, Valencia and Manchester United – some of the biggest names in world football – are all in this to win it. It’s a great competition and make no mistake, one we want to win.”

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