Joe Hart says Manchester City must believe that they can win the Champions League ahead of tonight’s game against Juventus.
City have qualified for the last 16 with two games to spare, and a win in Turin tonight would guarantee them top spot in Group D.
Since they first featured in the tournament in 2011-12, City have been knocked out of the group stage twice and eliminated in the last 16 stage against Barcelona in the past two seasons.
However, Hart is confident that his team can replicate their domestic success in Europe and progress past the last 16 stage for the first time.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, the 28-year-old said: “We are moving in the right way. But we’ve got to have the mentality that we want to win the competition — that’s the only mentality we can have.
“There’s no point in looking to get to a certain point and then thinking, ‘it doesn’t really matter now’.
“We’ve got to be focused. We are fighting in one of the toughest divisions in the world and we are up and around the top of it, so there’s no reason why we can’t be competing on the European stage.”
Ahead of tonight’s game against Italian giants Juventus – who won the reverse fixture 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in September – the England number one says he is confident they can get a result.
“We are realistic that a draw is a good result for us — a win or a draw — but we are going to turn up with every intention of winning the game,” Hart said.
“Games turn out differently, especially in the Champions League, and you need a back-up plan at times. But we will go there hoping to have the group sewn up by the last home game.”