Joe Hart shook off the disappointment of conceding a late goal to praise City’s character on a predictably tough assignment at Stoke.
The Blues looked to be heading back up the M6 with three points after Micah Richards’ sublime strike 10 minutes from time, but Matthew Etherington pounced late on to see the spoils shared.
It was no surprise that City had to face up to an aerial bombardment from the home side, coupled with a physical approach which ensured that the flowing football of last week’s win at Fulham was seldom on display.
However the England keeper positively relished the occasion, and he was pleased with the way his team mates also stood up to the challenge.
“It was good fun!” he smiles. “I really like playing at Stoke, they are a great side to play against for a goalkeeper – if you like that sort of thing! I enjoyed it and I thought we got through it well, but it was a shame about the last few seconds.
Stoke took the game to us in the first half but in the second we settled and showed what a good side we were. Shame about the last minute, I could barely feel my hands and I don’t know how much I got on the ball.
“We showed who we are, and we have some very good players. Physically we were strong and football-wise we were too, but we showed we can dig in when we need to. Stoke threw a lot of throw-ins and corners at us, but I thought we dealt with it well.”
In Joe’s opinion the overall display countered the notion that City would shrink in the face of such committed opponents like Stoke, and he added:
“Three points would have been ideal, but we have not lost at a place where people may think we may rolled over or been bullied. We have great characters, we have players with great strength but we also have someone like David Silva. On that pitch, people may have thought he would have had nothing to do with the game but he ran the show. That showed big character from him.”