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Football | Champions League

City let themselves down - Hart



Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart admits the English champions let themselves down as they were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages for the second successive year.

City's 1-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund left them winless and bottom of their Champions League group with three points, the worst ever performance by an English team.

Finishing last in the group also means they will not even have the consolation of a place in the Europa League and Hart admitted it was not good enough.

"I don't know what happened - we have let ourselves down in Europe, we've not qualified for the next stage and we've not even got into the Europa League," Hart said.

"I think the intensity was there but when they scored it disappeared, if I am being totally honest.

"It's a shame because we are a side that can come from behind; we've proved that many times, so it was disappointing.

"There was a hunger to win, but like I say, we have let ourselves down. We wanted to win in this tournament and we need to be winning."

Dortmund and Real Madrid advanced to the group stages, while Ajax Amsterdam continue in the Europa League, leaving City out Europe and to focus on domestic trophies only for a second straight year.

"Congratulations to Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, I thought they were fantastic, but we should have been in the position to be fighting for a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League," Hart said.

"We need to get back into the Champions League again, hopefully win the Premier League and then come back stronger to this competition next year."

City manager Roberto Mancini said his side had left themselves with too much to do in their group - featuring the champions from the three best leagues in Europe (Spain, England, Germany) plus the Dutch champions -after early defeats.

"Last season we did better - this year we had a difficult group but if you make mistakes in the first two or three games it's difficult to recover," he said.

"I don't think that we lost our qualification tonight, we lost it before - tonight we tried but we're missing players and we had chances but we didn't take them.

"We wanted to qualify for the Europa League but to win you need to score."

Now City will turn their attention to a top-of-the-table clash with leaders Manchester United on Sunday.

"It is important (now) that we only think about the derby," Mancini said. "We have five days to recover our strength, and then I don't think there will be a problem."

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