Manchester City latest: Ex-City striker slams Toure, Hart earns plaudits amid No. 1 battle

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Former Manchester City striker Niall Quinn has slammed Yaya Toure for his performance in the 1-0 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich, and doesn't believe he warrants the new lucrative contract he is reported to be after.

The Ivorian midfielder has struggled for form and fitness since returning from the World Cup this summer, coming in for criticism from the club's supporters, and Quinn has been just as unimpressed so far this season.

'His application last night could be questioned,' he told talkSPORT. 'Man City haven't hit full flow and I suppose it's time for him to step up to the plate now.

'He seems to have come back, lazy isn't the word I'd use, but certainly lethargic. I'd like to see him burst into life and play the kind of football that we know he is capable of.

'He will have to prove it to Man City that he is fit enough to play for time to come but, on last night's showing, you wouldn't be rushing to ring his agent.'

Others, however, have rushed to the defence of Toure, including ex-Liverpool man and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp, who insists it won't be long before he returns to last season's dominant form.

'Ok, he wasn't at his best. His body shape exposes him when he is not at the peak of his powers. An average World Cup, a long return journey from Cameroon after a 4-1 defeat for the Ivory Coast last week - these might be taking their toll,' he wrote in his Daily Mail column.

'His stuttering performance is worthy of scrutiny, but let’s not jump in two-footed here. He’s still a player you want in your team and it’s too soon to be dismissing him.'

That sentiment was echoed by City assistant manager Ruben Cousillas, who has no concerns about the 31-year-old's fitness going forward.

'On Saturday he didn’t play, but the reason was that he returned on Friday from the national team,' he told reporters after the match. 'But he was absolutely fit [to face Bayern] and physically without problem.'

Cousillas also reserved special praise for Joe Hart, despite the defeat, in news which will come as a boost in the England keeper's bid to keep the number one jersey from summer signing Willy Caballero.

'Joe Hart is a great goalkeeper at international level and has had a great career here at Manchester City,' he added.

'Last year, at the end of the season, he performed well and he has carried that into this season.

'[Against Bayern] he was excellent, he didn't make mistakes and we are happy not only with him but also Willy Caballero, who is also a great goalkeeper so we have that position well covered.'

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