Joe Hart might be dropped today

Oct 05, 2013, 04:09 IST | AFP

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini indicated yesterday he may drop under-fire goalkeeper Joe Hart for today's Premier League match at home to Everton.

England international Hart has endured a difficult start to the season and come under intense criticism for mistakes for both club and country. Mostly recently the 26-year-old was held responsible for two of the goals City conceded in their 3-1 midweek defeat by holders Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Joe Hart
Thomas Muller beats Man City ’keeper Joe Hart (left) before scoring Bayern Munich’s second goal in the Champions League recently. Pic/Getty Images.

Nevertheless Hart received strong support from Roy Hodgson when the England manager included him in the squad he announced on Thursday for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland. Pellegrini, for his part, said he was considering whether to give Hart a break and hand Romania international Costel Pantilimon a chance to impress.

Pantilimon, 26, has yet to appear in the Premier League for City since his move from Politehnica Timisoara in 2011 although he has played for the club in cup competitions.

“I will decide whether Joe will start or not — I always contemplate different things,” Pellegrini told reporters. “I don’t tell you now whether Joe will start on the day of the game because the rest of the players don’t know yet. “But Costel Pantilimon is a very good goalkeeper also. He has all the rights to play and I know he’s working hard. I’m absolutely sure if it is against Everton, or another game when Pantilimon must play, he would do well.

“Joe knows he must improve the way he is playing but of course he has our trust,” the 60-year-old Chilean added. “He feels he didn’t do very well against Bayern but he doesn’t have any problems. He continues with the trust of the team and with our trust.”

Pellegrini insisted he did not hold Hart solely responsible for some of the errors City have made in recent games despite some high-profile blunders.

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