Joe Hart insists Manchester City can win the Champions League this season despite their injury woes and recent poor form.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side travel to face Dynamo Kiev in the first leg of their last 16 tie in the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday night.
But City goalkeeper Hart and his team-mates boarded the flight with morale low after three successive defeats in all competitions.
Back to back losses in the Premier League have dented City’s title challenge, while they were also routed 5-1 by Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday following Pellegrini’s decision to field a weakened team as the Chilean prioritised European success.
However, beating Kiev would take City into the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time and England international Hart feels his team can go all the way if they believe in themselves.
“We’ve got to believe that (City can win it), or else there is no point in turning up on Wednesday,” Hart told City’s website.
EUROPEAN SUCCESS BELIEF
“We’ve got to believe that we’ve got what it takes. You know, it’s the best of the best, and if you’re not at your best you will lose, simple as that, in this competition.
So it’s all about peaking for the game and being in the right place at the right time.
“It’s an amazing competition. It’s something we really look forward to as a team. But we’re very lucky that we’re involved in a lot of competitions.
“The majority of the time when it comes to the Champions League we’re still fighting on all fronts, and this is a good time to be a Manchester City player and a good time to be fighting.”
Because of a lengthy injury list and a busy week that culminates with the League Cup final against Liverpool, Pellegrini did not want to risk the fitness of any of his senior stars, including Hart, against Chelsea.
City did train prior to their departure, however, and defenders Eliaquim Mangala and Bacary Sagna were both involved, raising the possibility they could be back in contention in Kiev.
Kevin De Bruyne, Jesus Navas, Samir Nasri, Fabian Delph and Wilfried Bony remain on the sidelines.