Saturday 31 October 2015 12:57, UK
Joe Hart believes Manchester City's squad is their most talented since he joined the club, and more than capable of coping with the absence of key players.
The England international hailed the impact of summer signings Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Otamendi, and insisted the club "is not looking for sympathy" in the wake of injuries to David Silva and Sergio Aguero among others.
Speaking to former Wolves goalkeeper Matt Murray for Sky Sports, the Manchester City stopper was asked whether City's current squad is the strongest it's been since he arrived.
"Yes, probably in terms of blistering talent," Hart said. "When we won the league the first time we had a real spirit and team ethos, and we were a club trying to get there and we got there.
"Now it's a big job trying to stay up there. We didn't win the league last year and didn't win any cups, and for that to be seen as a disaster is a big pat on the back from where we have come from."
Manchester City are top of the table with 22 points from their opening 10 games, and having suffered injuries to key players like Vincent Kompany, Aguero and Silva, manager Manuel Pellegrini has been forced to lean heavily on summer additions Sterling, Otamendi and De Bruyne.
All three players have settled quickly, with Sterling and De Bruyne contributing seven goals and four assists between them in the Premier League.
"They have settled in great, Raheem had a lot [of pressure] on him, but he's the coolest guy I know," Hart added. "He has a great temperament. Otamendi has come in, it's proven to be difficult for defenders [to come to the Premier League], and he's done well.
"I think we are really solid at the back, we have four good centre-halves - Vinny [Kompany], [Eliaquim] Mangala, Martin [Demichelis] and Nico [Otamendi]. Having a lot of Argentinian players made it easy for him to settle.
"Kevin [De Bruyne] is just a great player. A very, very, very solid player who will win you games.
"He's probably a manager's dream. Fabian [Delph] has been unlucky with injuries, but he's looking good and ready to come back in."
Aguero and Silva picked up injuries during the last international break, but Hart will refuse to use their absence as an excuse should results not go their way before their return.
"We're not looking for sympathy with Sergio and David missing," said Hart. "That's not the end of us - we've got plenty of very good players. We've spent a lot of money on good players.
"They [Aguero and Silva] take a lot of the limelight because they are that good. We are more than capable of dealing without our big players. We've got big goals at our club, and we can't let injuries and setbacks affect us."
Watch Matt Murray's full interview with Joe Hart on Soccer Saturday from 12noon on Sky Sports News HQ. The extended version is available from the same time on Sky Go, Sky Sports for iPad and On Demand.