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Pellegrini advised to drop Hart

Manuel Pellegrini consulted with his goalkeeping coach Xabier Mancisidor before deciding to drop Joe Hart for Saturday's game against Norwich but is adamant he had the final say.

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The Chilean took the decision to axe Hart following a mistake that allowed Chelsea's Fernando Torres to score a 90th-minute winner when Manchester City lost 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

His deputy Costel Pantilimon, who has kept a clean sheet in both Capital One Cup games he has played this season, will be given a Premier League debut instead, a source told ESPN.

Hart's errors have resulted in goals in each of the three league games Manchester City have lost this season, at Cardiff, Aston Villa and Chelsea.

And while Pellegrini refused to say publicly which goalkeeper he would select, he sounded out Mancisidor, a trusted colleague who worked with him at Malaga.

He said: "It is an important opinion but I decide who plays, not him."

Pellegrini, whose side sit six points behind league leaders Arsenal, believes they should be at least four points better off but he is confident they will soon be back among the division's pacesetters.

He added: "We are six points behind, but the team is playing the way I want. For different reasons we lost important points away but we still have 87 points to fight for so we are just starting. We are sure that the team will be soon at the top of the table.

"We lost at least four points away that we deserve more and we must recover those points but I think we are in a good way."

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