Manuel Pellegrini has warned Joe Hart that reputations count for nothing and that he will not be afraid to drop the goalkeeper if he does not return to his top form soon.
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But the Chilean insisted it is best for Manchester City that the error-prone Englishman keeps his place for now and believes the club’s new goalkeeping coach Xabier Mancisidor will help bring the best out of Hart.
Hart was at fault when Fraizer Campbell scored Cardiff’s second goal when Pellegrini’s side lost 3-2 on Sunday, just as he made a mistake to allow James Morrison to net for Scotland against England 11 days earlier.
And manager Pellegrini said: “I said from the beginning my teams never play with names, they play with performance. Joe knows perfectly he has to perform well in the next games.
“For the moment Joe will continue being our goalkeeper but I spoke with him and he knows he must be quickly in the best shape again.”
But while Pellegrini said he has an alternative in reserve goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, he is adamant this would be the wrong time to drop Hart, even though he was also in poor form last season.
“We know Joe has a difficult moment but also those players need trust in those moments,” he added.
“I saw the whole of last season but that is the past and now we must see the present and the future and for this moment the best thing for the team is that Joe Hart continues.”
Mancisidor has taken over from Massimo Battara as City’s goalkeeping coach and Pellegrini believes the Spaniard can help Hart fulfil his potential.
He added: “Joe is working with another goalkeeper coach. I trust a lot in Xabier Mancisidor. He is a very good goalkeeper coach, I worked with him at Malaga and Real Madrid, and I am sure that Joe must improve on a lot of things during the whole year.
“Joe is a very young goalkeeper, he arrived at the top in England maybe too young. He needs to improve a lot of things and Xabier will improve them.”