Roberto Mancini believes Joe Hart still has a lot to learn to become one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Hart came to City's rescue in the 1-0 win over Aston Villa with a superb late save to deny Darren Bent and secure all three points for Mancini's men.
The England international was praised as one of the best keepers around after the game, but Mancini feels the player has still a long way to go before he can be likened to being the best in the world.
Asked if Hart was the best keeper in the world, Mancini told Sky Sports HD1: "In the world I don't think because he is young and there are other keepers with more experience.
"I think he is one of the best, but he needs to improve because he is young. He has many years in front [of him], but he could become one of the top keepers."
Mancini also praised match-winner Joleon Lescott and man-of-the-match Gareth Barry and the rest of the side as they helped City back to the top of the table after Manchester United took top spot on Saturday with their victory over Liverpool
"I think Joleon played a fantastic game, but not only Joleon or Gareth I think first half we played fantastic football and we were missing only a goal," he added.
"Second half we scored one goal, but we have other chances and all the players played very well."
Mancini admitted his side needed to be patient to secure the win after dominating the game against a lacklustre Villa outfit.
"This evening it was a difficult game. We knew this before the game and I think the guys played fantastic football," he said.
"It is normal [to be patient] because we had a lot of chances to score first half, second half and it was a difficult game as all teams defend very well and we had to be patient."