Everyone enjoyed Joe Hart's cheeky explanation for his black eye

Alicia Cross
August 16, 2017

There is something different about Joe Hart when he ducks out of the unwanted summer rain and into the press room at West Ham's training ground.

And despite the sense of foreboding that has engulfed Hammers fans in the wake of the Old Trafford hiding, the East London club's co-owner David Gold has been trying to offer some perspective and much-needed positivity to supporters.

It is not a stretch to conclude that the past year bruised Hart rather more than that shiner to his right eye but he is keen to ensure the marks show only faintly. My feelings towards Manchester City will never change; I'm eternally grateful to them as a football club. I want to play at the highest standard available to me.

The Hammers' new keeper is, however, forever the diplomat and his treatment by Guardiola is not up for discussion, other than he doesn't think about the Spaniard or Manchester City any more, even though he remains on their books.

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West Ham United defender Winston Reid has admitted that himself and his teammates will "put in a much better performance" when they travel to Southampton on Saturday. There's no point in taking it too personally because it's not all about me. "I get hit in the face a lot and this is the first time it actually marked me". "I've taken the latter". However, if I score and feel I need to be quiet to be respectful to my old fans and my old house, I will do it.

"The game moves quickly, there are plenty of people who have been in my situation and you have two choices. That's what I'll keep doing until my body won't let me".

When asked if he's relishing the prospect of being West Ham's main man, he added: "I want to be important". "I'm here to win games, I'm here to try and help, I'm here to learn". It's a tricky first assignment, but the goalkeeper is hopeful that West Ham will be able to take their enforced mini-exile in their stride in the weeks ahead. Today will bring boos from the Manchester United support, as always, and the biggest significance will be that it means business as usual. "But working hard isn't a problem for me, digging deep isn't a problem".

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