Man City news

Pellegrini: Joe Hart 'must wait'

November 22, 2013
By Richard Jolly

Manuel Pellegrini has told Joe Hart he must wait for a recall to the Manchester City side after saying that Costel Pantilimon will keep his place for Sunday’s game against Tottenham.

Mertesacker goal Hart dive England Germany
PA PhotosJoe Hart has come under pressure recently.

The Romanian has been in the City goal for the last four games and Hart has not played for his club since his last-minute error allowed Fernando Torres to score a last-minute winner for Chelsea in October.

But Pellegrini insisted he has no concerns about picking Pantilimon in a major match and said that if he did not have faith in him, he would have sold him in the summer transfer window.

"Now we are playing Pantilimon, so Hart must wait,” the City manager said. “Both are very good goalkeepers.

“If I was worried about him [Pantilimon] he would not be here. We'd have changed him at the beginning of the year. He remains here because he is a good keeper.”

Earlier, Pellegrini had offered Hart hope of a recall to the starting line-up, praising the 26-year-old’s for his attitude and his recent display for England against Germany.

“I think he did very well,” Pellegrini said. “It was very important for him. It was most useful to play the game.”

“Joe didn’t change when he was playing or on the bench. His attitude was really professional and very good for the team. He was the same player when he played and when he didn’t play. He was always supporting Pantilimon and talking in the dressing room so he was doing very well.”

Pellegrini is postponing a decision on whether to buy a new central defender to cover for injured captain Vincent Kompany but said his preference is to carry on with the current squad for the remainder of the campaign.

The Belgian, who has a thigh problem, is in his second lengthy spell on the sidelines already this season and while Pellegrini signed Martin Demichelis to provide an alternative, the Argentinian is yet to prove a worthy deputy.

Pellegrini said: "We'll see what happens in December but we hope Vincent can continue in a normal way until the end of the season. We have to wait."

The Chilean has used seven different central defensive partnerships already this season but said injuries are the main reason he keeps chopping and changing.

He added: “The best thing is to have the same XI starting and win every game and to never make a change. But that's impossible.

"There are too many games to play through the year so it’s impossible to just be with one [partnership].

 "We've made a lot of changes there because we've had a lot of injuries. Demichelis, [Matija] Nastasic and [Joleon] Lescott [have all been out], so it's very difficult to continue with just two centre-backs.”

Nastasic and Fernandinho, who both missed City’s 1-0 defeat to Sunderland with minor knocks, are fit to return.

Pellegrini added: “Nastasic played with his international squad. Also Fernandinho worked the whole week without any problem.”

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