Fernandinho has stressed the importance of Manchester City securing a Champions League place if they cannot win the Premier League, but Joe Hart has not given up on the title just yet.
City were held to a 0-0 draw at Norwich on Saturday as they missed the chance to make up ground on Leicester, who can move 12 points clear of Manuel Pellegrini’s side, albeit having played a game more, if they beat Newcastle on Monday evening.
The Blues have now won only one of their last five Premier League games, leaving Fernandino to worry about a place in the top four, with West Ham only two points behind.
“Everyone is disappointed, but we have to look forward,” said Fernandinho. “We have nine games to play and if we don’t have the chance to be champions, we have to finish in the top four.
“It’s tough to drop points like that [at Norwich], but if we don’t have the chance to fight for the title, we have to make sure of Champions League.”
Although winning the title this season is looking increasingly unlikely, Hart is refusing to give up hope altogether.
“We’ll always keep going, we’ve had that spirit since I have been here, but sometimes it is not good enough,” the goalkeeper said. “We need a little bit more brilliance, more invention. We relied on that a bit too much [against Norwich] and it wasn’t available.
“It chops and changes, we’ve got to stay true to our belief which is that we can win the league.”