Hart flattered by Banks comparisons

Manchester City’s Joe Hart believes he could follow in the footsteps of England legend Gordon Banks, but insists he needs to first focus on maintaining his club form.

The 23-year-old has earned his place as England and big-spending City’s number one goalkeeper over the past few months. However, Hart wants to concentrate on improving his form and keeping his place in Roberto Mancini’s squad.

“The way I look at it is try and get in the squad and try to get playing,” Hart told Sport magazine.

“If I do well in the games that I’m picked for and keep being picked for Manchester City, then hopefully I’ll keep my place in the national team.”

England manager Fabio Capello recently attributed the 23-year-old’s impressive form to improved focus. And Hart, who got his first senior international cap against Bulgaria at Wembley in September, agrees.

“It’s totally boring saying it, but football is all I base my life around. The way I am on and off the field is all focused on trying to do well on the pitch.”

The City stopper, who was turning out for his local side Shrewsbury Town just four years ago, travelled with the England squad to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but didn’t get the chance to play.

“I’ve experienced that before, when I was with the U21s at Euro 2007, and you just have to take whatever you can from the experience."

And speaking about following in Banks’ footsteps, he added: “It’s nice to hear, but it’s so easily said isn’t it?

“I know those who it has been said about in the past and maybe things haven’t gone their way. There’s no reason why things shouldn’t go my way but I just have to concentrate on what I believe in.”

Premier League title contenders City will come up against rivals Manchester United in the derby clash on November 10 and Hart is looking forward to the match.

“They’re huge games. We won at Old Trafford in my first ever derby, which was amazing.

“The next one is an evening kick-off too, which I something I’ve always wanted. Games are so exciting at night… the atmosphere will be electric."

By Vaishali Bhardwaj