Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart says he has “enjoyed” playing for departing boss Manuel Pellegrini and claims the Chilean is still in control at The Etihad.
Hart, who made a number of key saves during Tuesday’s 1-0 win at Sunderland, believes the team are still focused on pursuit of glory on four fronts despite the announcement this week that Pep Guardiola will take over in the summer.
City host Leicester in a vital Premier League clash on Saturday lunchtime and Hart, 28, has urged City to maintain their current mindset.
“That [Guardiola appointment] will take care of itself. Right now my focus is with the players I am with, and the management I am with,” Hart told Manchester Evening News.
“The summer is the summer. It is very exciting for everybody outside of our team, but in our team, it is the moment we live in.
“Manuel is the manager, we are with each other and that’s how it’s going to stay.
“It’s the club’s decision that Manuel won’t carry on next season, therefore it has been worked together with him, so he has enough time to sort himself out, and the next season is next season.
“That couldn’t be any further from our mindsets right now. We have Manuel as manager and are fighting on all fronts.”
Guardiola, who revealed he was leaving Bayern Munich in Decemeber, has agreed a three-year deal at The Etihad and he is believed to have been briefed to develop City into the best team on the planet.
City tried to lure the former Barcelona coach to the club over three years ago and in their statement City admitted the “negotiations were a re-commencement of discussions that were curtailed in 2012”, but Hart remains committed to the cause under Pellegrini.
“I can’t talk for everyone, but I think it’s pretty obvious there is no revolt,” added Hart.
“That is not the reason he is not managing us next season.
“We’ve enjoyed playing under him. We play expressive football and have been there or thereabouts from the moment he stepped through the door, winning stuff, not quite winning stuff, and we are going to keep going on with that.
“You can see from his demeanour and how he is that he is in control of the situation.”
With three points separating them from the Foxes at the top of the table, a home win at the Etihad Stadium this weekend could see Pellegrini’s side overtake Leicester and reshape the dynamics of what has become one of the most interesting title races in recent times.