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Manuel Pellegrini keeps silent on Joe Hart decision

Updated: Friday, 01 Nov 2013 14:15 | Comments

Joe Hart's error handed Chelsea all three points last weekend
Joe Hart's error handed Chelsea all three points last weekend

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has refused to disclose whether he would keep faith with under-fire goalkeeper Joe Hart for Saturday's Barclay's Premier League game against Norwich.

The England goalkeeper was deemed to be at fault for Fernando Torres' winning goal as Chelsea beat Manchester City last weekend, the latest in a string of errors.

Asked if Hart would play against Norwich, the Chilean said: "Tomorrow (Saturday) you will know the answer."

Romanian Costel Pantilimon played ahead of Hart on Wednesday night keeping a clean sheet in the Capital One Cup victory against Newcastle, and the City boss would not be drawn on how the Englishman had reacted to that decision.

"You must ask Joe - I can't answer for him how disappointed he was," Pellegrini said.

"All of you and the players and me all saw what happened. But he is a football player and every week he is under the same pressure.

"I am always careful with all the players, not only Joe."

Pellegrini finds himself in the same position as four weeks ago, when mistakes from Hart against Bayern Munich prompted the City manager to consider the position ahead of their league game against Everton.

On that occasion he opted to keep faith with Hart, but said afterwards it had been a very difficult decision.

Pellegrini refused to give anything away as to his team selection for Saturday beyond confirming that Vincent Kompany (thigh), Stevan Jovetic (calf) and Javi Garcia will not feature.

Meanwhile, Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel thinks Pellegrini will be reluctant to drop Hart because of the negative effect it could have.

Friedel helped Tottenham reach the League Cup quarter-finals with a penalty shoot-out victory over Hull, and he told talkSPORT: "All goalkeepers go through ups and down.

"Goalkeeping is very much a confidence position. Joe has never struck me as a person who lacks in the confidence department.

"You just never know with these things. That's why it's not as easy as, 'Right, we're going to drop Joe Hart', because you don't want to lose the best Joe Hart, because the best Joe Hart is England's number one."

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